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.