Government of Canada supports 2700 jobs in southern Alberta through targeted help for businesses
Funding provides southern Alberta entrepreneurs with the advice and tools they need to mitigate COVID-19 impacts on their businesses.
November 12, 2020 – Calgary, Alberta – Western Economic Diversification Canada
From the outset, the Government of Canada has taken action to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to protect their contributions to the Canadian economy. One measure of support is the $1.5 billion Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), delivered by Canada’s Regional Development Agencies and intended for small- and medium-sized enterprises that have been unable to access other federal relief measures, putting jobs and livelihoods at risk.
The pandemic has created new barriers and challenges for southern Alberta businesses, including access to capital, and there has been strong demand for RRRF funding. The traditional broad range of supports available to entrepreneurs through the business ecosystem, such as industry associations and chambers of commerce, face their own pandemic-related challenges. These not-for-profit organizations, best placed to identify and nurture locally relevant initiatives that meet regional needs, are struggling at the time that they are needed most.
Support for the business ecosystem
Today, the Honourable Jim Carr, the Prime Minister’s Special Advisor for the Prairies, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced over $2 million for business ecosystem support in southern Alberta. This RRRF funding for 13 organizations will ultimately support enterprises in all stages of the business lifecycle, from nurturing start-ups to the ongoing development of mature firms. Many of the programs being funded are already under way, bringing immediate support for local companies, and making a difference for families and communities across the West.
Today’s funding supports over 2,700 jobs through the programs they deliver. This contributes to the Government’s campaign to create one million jobs, restoring employment to previous levels.
For example, to accelerate the adoption of e-commerce by small and medium-sized businesses, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce is delivering a program that partners local students with local businesses to get their products and offerings online by building online stores and developing digital marketing plans. RRRF funding is also supporting the University of Calgary to enable its Creative Destruction Lab - Rockies (CDL-Rockies) to help businesses mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, access capital to adapt their business models and develop innovative COVID-19 solutions. CDL-Rockies will digitize its core operations to deliver technology commercialization and business acceleration services online.
This RRRF funding complements existing programs offered by WD, such as the WES Ecosystem Fund and the Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) program. RRRF will help industry sectors retain the knowledge and skills of valuable employees, and maintain the capital flows and supply chains needed to build back better in an economic recovery.
“Businesses all across Canada have been hard hit hard by COVID-19. That’s why, through Regional Development Agencies like Western Economic Diversification Canada, the federal government is providing businesses vital support, and saving thousands of jobs. Our government committed to create one million jobs, and I want to assure southern Alberta business owners and workers that while we manage this health crisis, we will be there to support you for as long as it takes, with whatever it takes, and we will get through this together.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada
"I want to assure southern Alberta business owners and workers that while we manage this health crisis, we will be there to support you for as long as it takes, with whatever it takes.” Hon. Mélany Joly
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“I’ve been talking with entrepreneurs and with employees across the Prairies. They are all worried, but they are all hopeful. Canadians have a strong spirit, and it’s that spirit that we are supporting. With these funds, business organizations will be better able to help entrepreneurs and small businesses survive the pandemic and come out strong on the other side."
- The Honourable Jim Carr, the Prime Minister’s Special Advisor for the Prairies
"Canadians have a strong spirit, and it’s that spirit that we are supporting. With these funds, organizations will be better able to help small businesses survive the pandemic and come out strong on the other side." Hon. Jim Carr
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The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) was established to mitigate financial pressure experienced by businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and assist them to continue their operations and keep paying their employees.
In the West, over $567 million in RRRF support is flowing through Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD).
Through RRRF, WD is providing repayable interest-free contributions to eligible western firms seeking up to $40,000.
Through RRRF, WD is also providing up to $1,000,000 in interest-free funding to cope with financial hardship resulting from COVID-19.
Many business support organizations have been vital resources for local businesses to first, adapt to lockdown regulations, and then, to be ready as the economy began to open up. Through RRRF, WD is funding programs to help companies adapt to COVID-related requirements and new ways of doing business.
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
Western Economic Diversification Canada
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