COVID-19: Western Economic Diversification Canada launches Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to support local economy

COVID-19: Western Economic Diversification Canada launches Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to support local economy

Businesses across Western Canada unable to access existing relief measures can now apply for funding under new initiative

Edmonton, Alberta, May 13, 2020 – Western Economic Diversification Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in uncertainty and anxiety for businesses and their employees. Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are at the heart of our economy and our communities. As a source of local employment and pride, they play a key role in the well-being of communities across the country. That is why the Government of Canada has implemented a series of concrete and tangible measures to help them retain their employees, pay rent, and access capital to pay their bills.

Building on these measures, the new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) is being delivered by regional development agencies (RDAs) to help more businesses and organizations, including in the tourism sector, that are key to the regions and local economies. RDAs are the best positioned to provide this additional support as they work closely with communities across the country every day and understand the diverse local realities.

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced that businesses in Western Canada that are unable to access other existing measures can now apply for RRRF support through WD. As the RDA for western Canada, WD will work with key partners, like the Community Futures Network of Canada‘s offices across the region to help western Canadian businesses get through these difficult times.

A total of $304 million will be available for western Canadian businesses.

The Government of Canada’s efforts are making a difference for many local businesses, but some are still falling through the cracks—particularly in rural and remote communities. This is where the RRRF comes in, with $962 million—including $304.2 million for Western Canada—to support businesses economically impacted by the COVID-19. This is the case, for example, for SMEs in the tourism sector that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and are, in some cases, ineligible for other federal programs. 

Canada’s businesses are as diverse as Canadians are, and the immediate, concrete support available through the Fund is tailored to their unique needs. In the months to come, these firms will be in a position to play a meaningful role in Canada’s economic recovery.

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