FedDev Ontario’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund protects 2,770 jobs in Eastern Ontario in 2020

News release

Nearly 380 local businesses and organizations received over $27.6 million in combined funding to help weather the impacts of COVID-19

January 12, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan has helped to protect millions of jobs, provide emergency support to families and keep businesses afloat as they deal with the impact of COVID-19. A central part of this is the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), which provides liquidity support to businesses and not-for-profit organizations affected by COVID-19 that are unable to access other federal relief measures or require additional support.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, FedDev Ontario has provided critical support for thousands of southern Ontario businesses and other organizations, helping them continue operations, protect jobs, cover costs and play a role in our economic recovery. Recognizing the pandemic’s continued strain on local economies, FedDev Ontario is delivering $184 million in additional funding in southern Ontario, and has extended and expanded eligibility criteria to help those still in need of support.

Protecting local jobs and supporting businesses in Eastern Ontario

Today, the Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Ottawa–Vanier, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, announced that nearly 380 businesses and organizations in Eastern Ontario received a total of over $27.6 million in combined RRRF funding, protecting 2,770 jobs in the region in 2020. This funding has supported the immediate needs of a broad range of businesses, including those in Franco-Ontarian communities, as well as main street retail shops and restaurants, tourism operators and agri-food businesses. 

For example, Cornwall-based Fieldless Farms is an agri-food start-up that uses controlled environment agriculture technologies to grow and distribute more sustainable produce year-round. With RRRF support, Fieldless Farms was eventually able to launch its first farm, attracting chain and independent grocers, which now provide a steady revenue stream and a foundation for future growth.

RRRF support has also made a difference in the community of Hawkesbury, which has the highest concentration of retail workers of any municipality in Ontario. The Green Beaver Company was established as a notable supplier of quality natural consumer products, but the pandemic negatively affected the company’s sales. With RRRF support through the Prescott-Russell CFDC’s unique project to support the relief and recovery of businesses and organizations in Franco-Ontarian Communities, Green Beaver has been able to strengthen its online presence and expand its e-commerce offerings. Not only has this allowed the Hawkesbury-based business to weather the pandemic’s impact on sales, but it has also positioned them to reach new markets and be more competitive.

Businesses and organizations in southern Ontario that have applied for other federal COVID-19 programs, but were unable to access sufficient relief, are encouraged to review RRRF eligibility requirements or contact FedDev Ontario for more information.


“Throughout this time of crisis, I continue to be impressed by the resilience and creativity shown by so many businesses, like Fieldless Farms and Green Beaver. Their stories are two of many that highlight why FedDev Ontario’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund is so important. The RRRF has protected 2,770 jobs in Eastern Ontario, while helping nearly 380 local businesses survive the hardships caused by the pandemic. Thanks to this crucial support, we are helping to keep Eastern Ontario strong and well positioned for economic recovery.”
The Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Ottawa–Vanier

“As local economies continue to grapple with the effects of the pandemic, the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund is here to help. Today’s announcement is proof of our government’s commitment to supporting businesses through this challenging time. Our message to Canadian business owners and workers is clear: we’ve been here for you with immediate measures during the COVID-19 crisis and we will continue to work with you to support good jobs and help our businesses not just survive, but thrive so our economy can come back strong.”
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“As a start-up, we easily could have fallen through the cracks. The RRRF assistance carried us past a very challenging period while COVID-19 was taking hold of the economy and when we were just getting off the ground. Federal funding support has allowed us to get to market with safe and sustainable Canadian-grown produce, 365 days a year.”
- Jon Lomow, CEO, Fieldless Farms

“As said by Winston Churchill, never waste a good crisis. I truly believe that crises, like COVID-19, can create new opportunities or key learnings that may be useful in the future. We are so thankful for the FedDev Ontario funding, which helped us to act on an opportunity that positively impacted our sales.”
Alain Ménard, President, Green Beaver Company

Quick facts

  • The national $1.5 billion Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies, provides liquidity support to businesses and not-for-profit organizations affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, that are unable to access other federal relief measures, or require additional support. FedDev Ontario is delivering $436.4 million to support businesses and organizations in southern Ontario.

  • FedDev Ontario has also extended and expanded the eligibility criteria for RRRF, increasing contribution amounts and the timeframe for eligible costs, which is available to new applicants and existing recipients.

  • In addition to the support announced today, nearly 700 jobs have been protected through an additional $4.5-million RRRF investment in not-for-profit organizations in Eastern Ontario. With this funding, organizations including La Société Économique de l'Ontario, Société de développement communautaire de Prescott-Russell and Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario, are providing valuable support to industries and businesses in Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs).

  • With downtown cores hit particularly hard by COVID-19, FedDev Ontario is investing $50 million through RRRF in the Digital Main Street (DMS) platform and the Recovery Activation Program, which will help nearly 23,000 main street businesses and SMEs across Ontario embrace digital business models, positioning them to regain lost revenue and become more resilient and competitive as the economy recovers.

  • Recognizing the significant impact that COVID-19 has had on tourism in the region, FedDev Ontario also invested $30 million through the RRRF for the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), which will provide Destination Marketing Organizations in southern Ontario with support to help encourage visitors back into local communities as the economy safely reopens.

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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