Regional Relief and Recovery Fund – Women’s Enterprise Initiative Stream
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) was announced by the Government of Canada to provide financial support directly to small and medium-sized women-owned or -led businesses. Loans of up to $60,000 are available through Women’s Enterprise Initiative (WEI) organizations across Western Canada to address COVID-19 impacts on short-term stability.
This access to financing will support small enterprises that are unable to access larger federal relief funding programs, or unable to obtain a loan/credit from traditional financial institutions, and that are struggling with working capital needs.
- How the RRRF is being administered in the Prairie provinces
- Eligibility requirements
- Eligible costs
- Parameters of the RRRF
- How to apply through the WEI Stream
- More information and questions
How the RRRF is being administered in the Prairie provinces
Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) is collaborating with several partner organizations to deliver the fund in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Funding offered through Women’s Enterprise Initiative organizations in Western Canada is intended for rural or urban women-owned or women-led businesses (including sole proprietors and social enterprises). WEI delivers loans up to a maximum of $60,000.
- Small and medium-sized women-owned or women-led businesses are eligible.
- Eligible applicants include sole proprietors and “main street” businesses, such as retail shops, restaurants, corner stores etc. and businesses of strategic importance to the community.
- Eligible applicants must also meet the following criteria which are captured in an attestation form:
- established prior to March 1, 2020
- impacted adversely due to the COVID-19 pandemic
- viable and not experiencing financial pressures prior to March 1, 2020
- ineligible, and/or not receiving other federal relief support for the same expenditures
Loans are to cover only fixed costs. Costs such as rent, salaries and benefits are considered only if the applicant is ineligible, rejected and/or not already receiving assistance for these costs from other federal and provincial funding measures.
- salaries, and benefits (considered only if not eligible or declined from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy)
- property taxes
- rent (applicants are expected to pursue with their landlord access to the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses)
- cleaning supplies and additional safety measures;
- bank interest/charges
- office supplies and vehicle operating expenses
- lease payments for existing equipment and machinery
- professional fees
- other eligible expenses associated with retooling, rethinking workflows, automation, robotics, developing new markets, etc.
Parameters of the “RRRF – WEI Stream”
- Maximum assistance will be $60,000.
- Interest is 0% and no principal payments are due until January 18, 2024 (extended from December 31, 2022).
- Principal repayments can be voluntarily made at any time;.
- If you repay the outstanding balance on or before January 18, 2024, the following percentage of the contribution will be forgiven:
- 25% on the first $40,000
- 50% on amounts above $40,000 and up to $60,000
- The forgivable portion is only available if the entire outstanding amount is repaid by January 18, 2024.
- If the Client is unable to repay the loan by January 18, 2024, the loan will be converted to a 3-year term loan with interest rates up to 5%, with payments starting on January 19, 2024, and ending on December 31, 2026.
How to apply through the WEI Stream
There is a WEI in each western province that serves urban and rural women-owned or women-led businesses. Applicants from women-owned or women-led businesses are asked to apply through the website of the WEI organization in their province:
- Alberta – Alberta Women Entrepreneurs
- Saskatchewan – Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc.
- Manitoba – Women’s Enterprise Centre
More information and questions
For additional RRRF information, contact your nearest PrairiesCan regional office.
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