FedDev Ontario’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund protects more than 1,700 jobs in Windsor-Essex in 2020

News release

80 local businesses and organizations received $11.1 million in combined funding to help weather the impacts of COVID-19

January 12, 2021 – Windsor, 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 Windsor-Essex

Today, Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament for Windsor–Tecumseh, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, announced that 80 businesses and organizations in Windsor-Essex received a total of $11.1 million in combined RRRF funding, protecting more than 1,700 jobs in the region in 2020. This funding has supported the immediate needs of a broad range of businesses, from main street businesses such as retail shops and restaurants, to tourism operators and many manufacturing companies. 

In a region largely powered by the manufacturing sector, businesses across Windsor-Essex have taken a significant hit due to closures and supply chain shortages resulting from the pandemic. For Tecumseh-based injection molding manufacturer Quality Models Limited, the pandemic caused many of its clients to halt production, resulting in a significant decrease in sales. Assistance through the RRRF has alleviated some of the liquidity pressures and covered fixed operating costs for this rural company’s automotive and recreational boating products.

Morton Food Service, a family-owned business rooted in the Windsor region for over 100 years, is a distributor of food and beverage products to over 1,200 independent restaurants across southern Ontario. When the pandemic hit, public health measures meant that the majority of Morton Food Services’ customers either needed to close or reduce to take-out or patio service only. This created a ripple effect and as a result, the company’s revenue was significantly reduced. Support through RRRF allowed Morton Food Service to cover fixed costs and manage its cash flow to continue operations during the pandemic.

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 pandemic has presented tremendous challenges to businesses in our region and across the country. Despite these challenges, I am continually amazed by the resilience and ingenuity demonstrated by businesses like Quality Models and Morton Food Service in Windsor-Essex. Their stories are two of many that emphasize the importance of FedDev Ontario’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund in supporting businesses and empowering them to adapt and deliver essential services to our community. In Windsor-Essex alone, the RRRF has already protected over 1,700 jobs, while assisting 80 local businesses.”
– Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament for Windsor–Tecumseh

“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

“Thanks to the RRRF interest-free loan from FedDev Ontario, we have been able to reduce our non-discretionary operating costs and improve our overall cash flow during these unprecedented and unpredictable times.”
– Dave Gigante, Chief Financial Officer, Quality Models Limited

“The pandemic has had a significant impact on independent restaurants across the region, and when their business is reduced, ours is too. The support through FedDev Ontario’s RRRF was very helpful, allowing us to move forward and adapt to continue operations and provide the reliable service we are known for through this difficult time.”
– Rob Calcott, President, Morton Food Service

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, at least 90 jobs have been protected through an additional $2-million RRRF investment in not-for-profit organization WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (WEEDC). With this funding, WEEDC is supporting women-led business owners to adapt and recover.

  • 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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