FedDev Ontario investments support businesses and spur innovation and growth amid the global pandemic

News release

Agency provides relief to thousands of businesses while investing nearly $490 million and supporting over 50,000 jobs this year

December 22, 2020 – Waterloo, Ontario

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted our economy and unleashed a whirlwind of uncertainty for businesses and their employees.

Through this difficult time, FedDev Ontario has been there to support businesses. This includes providing financial relief through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), and providing existing clients with flexibilities to address their changing needs as they continue to adapt. While the Agency has been working to ensure businesses, organizations and communities across southern Ontario have the support they need to weather the impacts of this crisis, we also continue to make targeted investments to support innovation and growth to rebuild a stronger, more inclusive and more competitive southern Ontario.  

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, highlighted nearly $490 million in FedDev Ontario investments made this year, which have created and maintained over 50,000 jobs in the region. These investments are positioning Canada for a strong recovery, while supporting the Government of Canada’s commitment to create over one million jobs and restore employment to previous levels.

Protecting local jobs and providing relief for businesses and organizations

Since the launch of the RRRF in May 2020, FedDev Ontario has provided critical support for thousands of businesses and organizations, helping them to continue operations, protect jobs, cover costs and play a role in Canada’s economic recovery.

This funding has supported the immediate needs of a broad range of businesses, including those hit hardest by the pandemic, from main street and rural businesses, tourism operators and manufacturers to women-led and Indigenous-led businesses and those in Franco-Ontarian communities.

For example, FedDev Ontario is investing $50 million through RRRF in the Digital Main Street platform and the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s Recovery Activation Program, which will help nearly 23,000 main street businesses and SMEs across the province to adopt digital business models, positioning them to regain lost revenue and become more resilient and competitive.

RRRF investments are also supporting local businesses like HiMama, a Toronto-based technology company that has developed an app to streamline operations for daycares and early learning programs, while increasing parent engagement through digital communications. Hawkesbury-based Green Beaver Company also received RRRF support through the Prescott-Russell Community Futures Development Corporation’s unique project to support businesses in Franco-Ontarian communities. RRRF funding has helped these businesses and thousands more stay afloat while seizing opportunities for future growth.

Building back stronger

FedDev Ontario also continues to make strategic investments to stabilize and strengthen sectors across southern Ontario that are vital to the region’s economy, such as advanced manufacturing, technology, health and life sciences and tourism, while also supporting inclusive, clean and robust growth to ensure a recovery that leaves no one behind.

With an investment of $6.5 million from the Agency, the Hamilton Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA Hamilton) will provide support and training to help more than 500 women to develop new, in-demand skills and aid their transition into high-skill jobs in sectors where women are traditionally underrepresented, particularly in advanced manufacturing and specialized technology.

Another example is Area X.O, a world-class test environment led by Invest Ottawa  that is adopting enhanced capabilities and helping researchers, entrepreneurs and businesses to create, commercialize and adopt breakthough innovations with a $7-million FedDev Ontario investment. With this investment, Invest Ottawa is harnessing local talent, investing in 5G technologies, and expanding the autonomous vehicle research network in southern Ontario.

A number of FedDev Ontario recipients have also pivoted operations to support the COVID-19 response.

Molded Precision Components (MPC), an automotive and medical parts producer in Oro-Medonte, is expanding, implementing new technology and creating over 30 high-skilled jobs with a $2.9-million FedDev Ontario investment. Earlier this year, MPC pivoted its operations as a result of COVID-19 to produce over 27 million medical face shields for the protection of healthcare workers in Canada and abroad.

Continued support to recover from the pandemic and emerge stronger

FedDev Ontario and the region’s CFDCs continue to provide relief to businesses and organizations impacted by COVID-19, as well as funding to support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region.

Businesses and organizations that have not been able to access sufficient relief, or are in need of complementary support to the measures they have already accessed, are encouraged to contact FedDev Ontario or their local CFDC for more information on the RRRF or for help navigating other Government of Canada relief measures. Those looking to grow or expand are encouraged to contact us for more information on available funding opportunities.


“As we reflect on the past year and look forward to 2021, we know that the pandemic has gripped people and economies around the world, including Canada. We are focused on the future, and on building back better. Through the regional development agencies, we are helping businesses to cope through this challenging time while supporting innovation, and growth for a resilient future. In southern Ontario, the investments made by FedDev Ontario are helping to jumpstart recovery, create jobs and foster growth in one of Canada’s most vital economic hubs.”
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“Throughout this year of crisis and unprecedented uncertainty, businesses, organizations and communities across southern Ontario have shown incredible resilience and ingenuity. Whether its access to relief funding, help to adapt to a digital future or innovate to take advantage of new growth opportunities, we are here to support you. FedDev Ontario continues to be a champion for all communities across the region, and is delivering critical support to save jobs and keep our businesses going, while also making strategic investments to prepare for economic recovery.”
Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario)

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts for all Canadians, including small businesses that are a critical part of local economies. Through this project, bringing together the Ontario Business Improvement Association, the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech and Invest Ottawa – we have been able to expand the highly successful Digital Main Street program, providing the knowledge transfer, resources, and critical support for small businesses across the province to implement digital tools and services they need to respond to the evolving challenges currently being faced.”
- Digital Main Street Platform Partners

Quick facts

  • FedDev Ontario is one of Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs), each of which work closely with their communities to understand and address the diverse local realities.

  • In southern Ontario, FedDev Ontario is delivering $436.4 million through the RRRF, which includes $69.4 million in targeted rural support through Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs).

Associated links


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
Toll Free: 1-866-593-5505

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