Over $95 million in relief and recovery funds flow to businesses in Western Canada
More than 1,760 businesses across the West receive targeted assistance to address the impact of COVID-19
July 28, 2020 – Vancouver, BC – Western Economic Diversification Canada
COVID-19 has had a severe impact on businesses of all sizes across the country, and those whose livelihoods depend on them. In Western Canada, thousands of local businesses saw their revenues disappear due to the pandemic, and have faced challenges keeping their employees, paying rent and utilities, and managing cash flow.
From the outset, the Government of Canada has taken action to support businesses large and small affected by the pandemic, including the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) that was launched on May 13. Nearly doubling the budget of Canada’s Regional Development Agencies, this $962-million fund, supports businesses across Canada that have been unable to get access to other federal relief measures, and might be in danger of falling through the cracks.
In the West, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is delivering, in collaboration with the Community Futures Pan West Network, over $300 million to help businesses pay their rent, keep their employees, and recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Support for main street businesses and SMEs
Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced that businesses across Western Canada have received over $95 million in support from the RRRF. These interest-free repayable contributions are now flowing to more than 1,760 businesses across the West that were unable to get access to existing Government of Canada relief measures.
Most of the firms supported are small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, including many very small businesses with fewer than five employees. One such firm is Burnaby, BC’s Acuva Technologies, which has been able to keep staff and adapt to the changing demand for its water disinfection technology thanks to the RRRF. Having himself recovered from COVID-19, CEO Manoj Singh also used RRRF funding to research new products for air and surface disinfection, using Acuva’s UV-LED technology to defend against viruses like the coronavirus.
Supporting good local jobs in communities across Western Canada, these local businesses are the backbone of our economy, and the RRRF will continue to assist them. WD is also providing targeted support to larger employers to help them retain their employees, pay rent, and get access to capital to cover costs.
“Businesses in Western Canada have felt the impact of COVID-19 first-hand. This is why we are working with entrepreneurs to rebuild our economy and help get Canadians back to work. With this money coming their way we are protecting over 6,800 jobs from Winnipeg to Victoria. Our government will always be there to support Canadians, stabilize the economy, and help businesses and grow. Our message is clear: we’ve been here for you with immediate measures, we’re here for you now as our economy reopens and we’ll get through this, together. We’re working with you to support good, local jobs and help Western Canada’s economy come back strong.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, MP for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada
" With this money coming their way we are protecting over 6,800 jobs from Winnipeg to Victoria." Hon. Mélanie Joly (via @WD_Canada)
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“Small businesses throughout the West are in acute need, and their recovery is critical to Western Canada’s recovery. The Government of Canada recognizes that, and has listened closely about how we can best support western entrepreneurs. Today’s announcement is a reflection of our commitment to ensure the small business community has the resources needed to recover and flourish through this pandemic."
- Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Western Economic Diversification Canada) and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (Canada Water Agency)
"Today’s announcement is a reflection of our commitment to ensure the small business community has the resources needed to recover and flourish through this pandemic." Terry Duguid, MP (via @WD_Canada)
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“It is reassuring to see the Government of Canada providing such amazing support to businesses, including ours. The funding helped Acuva to not only maintain operations but also to expand them, including the opening of our very first international office in Germany. This assistance will help us scale up the export of a true Canadian technology to the European market and provide better support to our global customers.”
- Manoj Singh, President and CEO of Acuva Technologies Inc.
"This assistance will help us scale up the export of a true Canadian technology to the European market and provide better support to our global customers.” Manoj Singh, President and CEO of Acuva (via @WD_Canada)
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The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund was established to mitigate the financial pressure experienced by businesses to allow them to continue their operations. Through its two RRRF funding streams, WD is providing repayable interest-free contributions to eligible western firms seeking up to $40,000, as well as funding of up to $1,000,000 in support to cope with financial hardship resulting from COVID-19.
Funding announced today supports a broad number of businesses ranging from main street businesses such as retail shops, restaurants, and corner stores to larger businesses that employ more than 100 employees.
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Follow the department on Twitter: @WD_Canada
WD Toll-Free Number: 1-888-338-WEST (9378)
TTY (telecommunications device for the hearing impaired): 1-877-303-3388
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