FedDev Ontario’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund protects more than 1,600 jobs in the Hamilton and Niagara regions in 2020

News release

Over 110 local businesses and organizations received $16.4 million in combined funding to help weather the impacts of COVID-19

January 12, 2021 – Hamilton, 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 Hamilton and Niagara

Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, announced that 111 businesses and organizations in the Hamilton and Niagara regions received a total of $16.4 million in combined RRRF funding, protecting more than 1,600 jobs in the area in 2020. This funding has supported the immediate needs of a broad range of businesses, from manufacturers, agri-businesses and tourism operators, to main street businesses such as retail shops and restaurants. 

For example, Ancaster-based Spring Valley Corp., founded in 2015, is a manufacturer of high-quality architectural concrete products for the building industry. Due to COVID-19, many construction projects were postponed and, in some cases, cancelled. The company experienced significant financial impacts and had to temporarily lay off its workers. Funding through RRRF helped support overhead costs and allowed the company to recall employees to restart manufacturing.

In a region that welcomes about 14 million tourists annually, Niagara has taken a significant hit due to the closures and travel restrictions resulting from COVID-19. Niagara-on-the-Lake manufacturer of high-quality fishing lures and tackle, Koppers Fishing and Tackle Corp., received assistance through RRRF to cover its fixed operating costs when revenues rapidly declined due to the drop in tourism, cancellation of trade shows and import and export challenges.

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.


“The COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly difficult for Hamilton and Niagara area businesses. I am very happy about how the FedDev Ontario’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund has enabled local businesses, such as Spring Valley Corp. and Koppers Fishing and Tackle, to continue their operations in a changing economic landscape so they will be able to keep providing jobs and support an economic recovery in our region. Their stories are just two examples of many that demonstrate the impact FedDev Ontario’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund has had on local business owners, their employees and their communities. In Niagara and Hamilton, the RRRF has protected more than 1,600 jobs, while helping more than 110 local businesses stay afloat in 2020 and helping the Hamilton and Niagara regions remain well positioned for economic recovery.
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas 

“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

“We are extremely grateful for the support we received from the FedDev Ontario RRRF program. This loan allowed us to bring our employees back to work, continue our efforts to innovate and secure new opportunities that will ensure the future success of Spring Valley Corp. We are now looking forward to a successful 2021, largely as a result of the support we received from FedDev Ontario.”
– Patti Overgaard, Sales Manager, Spring Valley Corp.

“The RRRF not only helped our company weather the COVID-19 storm, but has positioned us for growth post pandemic. We have a plan to increase jobs, expand our exports to the U.S. and expedite our R&D to develop new competitive products. Thank you for supporting our company and affording us that opportunity.”
– Susan Koppers, Director of Operations, Koppers Fishing and Tackle Corp.

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, an additional $1-million RRRF investment for not-for-profit organization Venture Niagara Community Futures Development Corporation has protected nearly 30 jobs in Niagara’s hard-hit tourism industry.

  • 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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