Government of Canada supports 340 jobs in Saskatchewan through targeted help for businesses
Funding provides Saskatchewan entrepreneurs with the advice and tools they need to mitigate COVID-19 impacts on their businesses.
November 13, 2020 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – 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 Saskatchewan 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, 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), announced $1.925 million from Western Economic Diversification Canada for business ecosystem support in Saskatchewan. This RRRF funding for 24 organizations will ultimately support over 2,600 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 340 jobs directly in the funded organizations, as well as many more in the small businesses that benefit from the programs they deliver. This contributes to the Government of Canada’s campaign to create one million jobs, restoring employment to previous levels.
For example, the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce plans to analyze, coordinate and provide support to local labour markets in rural Saskatchewan communities. Under this project, the Chamber will work with at least 12 rural chambers of commerce to develop policies and actions that help integrate Indigenous, immigrant, youth, and women into the local workforce. Many rural communities in Saskatchewan have struggled to incorporate local labour groups, and this situation was worsened by COVID-19 social distancing and economic impact.
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 Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan 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. Mélaie Joly
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“Across the Prairies, COVID-19 has caused pain and anxiety for small businesses and the people they employ. The Government of Canada is helping business organizations in the community plant seeds of hope, giving many small businesses the tools they need to respond to the challenges this pandemic has thrown at us."
- 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)
"We are helping business organizations in the community plant seeds of hope, giving many small businesses the tools they need to respond to the challenges this pandemic has thrown at us." PS Terry Duguid
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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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