Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) - Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  1. What COVID-19 relief supports are available through FedNor?
  2. What is the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)?
  3. How were the regional allocations for the RRRF determined?

Eligibility

  1. Who is eligible to apply?
  2. What types of assistance are eligible?
  3. Can I apply to FedNor if I have already received government funding through another COVID-19 relief initiative?
  4. Should I apply to FedNor if I am currently being assessed under other COVID-19 relief measures?
  5. How does the funding that FedNor is delivering through the RRRF differ from the funding being delivered by Community Future Development Corporations (CFDCs)?
  6. What are eligible costs?
  7. I received financial support from another COVID-19 support measure, but I still face liquidity issues. Can I still apply for the RRRF?

Funding

  1. How much funding is available per applicant under RRRF?
  2. Does the funding have to be repaid? What are the terms?
  3. Will FedNor funding have any tax implications for my business?

Application Process

  1. How do I apply?
  2. What is the deadline for applications?
  3. How many applications can an organization or business submit?
  4. I completed the budget forecast on the application form but I don’t see an area to request how much money I am requesting. Where do I enter this information?

Assessment Process

  1. How will applications be assessed?
  2. What other factors may be used to assess applications?
  3. What should I do if I find that I have made a mistake in providing financial information to FedNor?
  4. Will my contribution have any Official Languages Act requirements?

RRRF Recipients

  1. If I receive funding, what are the next steps?
  2. Will there be any reporting requirements for my contribution?
  3. Will other Federal Departments or Agencies have access to my personal information?
  4. How will the Government of Canada ensure appropriate accountability for the use of public funds?

Additional Information

  1. How do I get more information?

General Questions

1) What COVID-19 relief supports are available through FedNor?

FedNor, as one of Canada’s six regional development agencies (RDAs), is delivering $49.5 million of the national $962-million Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Northern Ontario that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will be available to provide support to Northern Ontario SMEs that do not qualify for, have been rejected from or have not accessed other Government of Canada COVID-19 relief supports, or that can demonstrate the need for incremental support if funding was received from other programs.

We are also here to help you navigate the federal support available through the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. Please contact us at 1-877-333-6673 for assistance.

To find out if FedNor can support you through the RRRF, please review the program guidelines.

2) What is the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)?

Through the new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, Canada’s six RDAs are delivering:

  • $675 million in support to SMEs that are unable to access other federal COVID-19 relief measures; and
  • $287 million for the national network of Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) to provide funding and other support to small businesses in rural communities. More information on the CFDCs can be found here.

In Northern Ontario, FedNor will invest:

  • $24 million by providing financial contributions (interest-free, repayable loans) to help support businesses with their operating costs, where revenues have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and other Government of Canada relief supports are not available. 
  • $25.5 million for rural businesses and communities with access to capital and technical support, delivered by Northern Ontario’s Community Futures Development Corporations.

3) How were the regional allocations for the RRRF determined?

With the new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, the Government of Canada is nearly doubling the annual budgets of Canada’s six regional development agencies (RDAs). The Fund is an immediate $962 million support measure to protect Canadian jobs and to help Canadians and businesses through this period of uncertainty.

The distribution of the RRRF to each RDA took into consideration the size and need of each region of Canada while ensuring that each RDA was adequately resourced to help cash-strapped entrepreneurs in their respective regions who are unable to access the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures.

A strong Canadian economy requires that SMEs in all regions of Canada are not falling through the cracks and get the support they need to remain in operation now and into the future. The RDAs will work with the Community Futures Network of Canada to make every effort to extend the RRRF to as many SMEs as possible to ensure no business is left behind; however, we recognize that demand for funds may exceed what is available in every region.

The RRRF is distributed among the six RDAs as follows:

Eligibility

4) Who is eligible to apply?

To qualify for the RRRF through FedNor, an applicant must be:

  • Based in Northern Ontario and/or offer support to businesses located in Northern Ontario;  
  • A Canadian or provincially incorporated business, Indigenous organizations such as Indigenous/First Nation/Métis Settlement owned businesses;
  • A Not-for profit organizations, such as Chambers of Commerce, Industry or Sector Associations, and Tourism organizations;
  • Carrying out commercial activities, and that are positioned to support SMEs regarding COVID-19;
  • Facing funding pressures with operational costs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Have applied to other Government of Canada COVID-19 emergency relief measures, for which they are ineligible or have been declined, or that can demonstrate the need for incremental support if funding was received from other programs; and
  • Planning to continue to operate its business or resume operations.

Please review the guidelines for more information.

5) What types of assistance are eligible?

FedNor will provide:

  • Financial contributions (interest-free, repayable and conditionally repayable loans) up to a maximum of $250,000 to help support SMEs with operating costs, where business revenues have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Funding for costs that will help mitigate impacts of COVID-19 on SME operations, such as but not limited to lease payments for existing equipment and machinery, property taxes and utilities.

6) Can I apply to FedNor if I have already received government funding through another COVID-19 relief initiative?

To be eligible for the RRRF through FedNor, SMEs will first need to apply to other Government of Canada emergency support measures for which they are eligible including, but not limited to:

  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
  • Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
  • Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) - Received by the applicant or their landlord
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
  • Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy
  • Service Canada Work-sharing program
  • National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) Wage Subsidy
  • Emergency loans through Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs)
  • Indigenous Business Support Loans
  • Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Co-Lending Program for SMEs

FedNor will not provide funding that duplicates support provided through other programs.
Eligible Applicants that have received a CEBA loan but have additional financial pressures must first attempt to access the BCAP measures and BDC Working Capital before applying to the RRRF. Eligible Applicants that have received a CEBA loan will not be eligible to have any portion of their FedNor loan forgiven.  In addition, the CEBA loan amount will be adjusted from the RRRF contribution amount.

7) Should I apply to FedNor if I am currently being assessed under other COVID-19 relief measures?

You should apply to FedNor after you hear back regarding the status of your application under other federal relief measures.  To be considered eligible for the RRRF, SMEs are expected to first apply to other Government of Canada emergency credit relief measures for which they are eligible.

8) How does the funding that FedNor is delivering through the RRRF differ from the funding being delivered by CFDCs?

Funding offered through CFDCs is intended for SMEs, particularly rural mainstreet businesses and small/micro enterprises (including sole proprietors and social enterprises) located in communities serviced by a CFDC. CFDCs will deliver loans normally up to a maximum of $40,000.

9) What are eligible costs?

Only operating costs of SMEs will be considered. These include costs such as:

  • Commercial rent/mortgage (rent is only eligible if not supported by the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program);
  • Rent or lease of equipment and machinery;
  • Salaries and benefits (only eligible if not eligible or rejected through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy);
  • Property taxes;
  • Utilities;
  • Cleaning supplies;
  • Additional safety measures;
  • Bank interest/charges and loan repayment (interest);
  • Office supplies;
  • Vehicle operating expenses;
  • Professional fees;
  • Insurance costs; and
  • Other fixed overhead costs and one-time stabilization expenditures.

Please review the guidelines for more information on what costs are eligible as part of an RRRF submission.

10) I received financial support from another COVID-19 support measure, but I still face liquidity issues. Can I still apply for the RRRF?

The purpose of RRRF is to provide liquidity support to eligible applicants while not duplicating other Government of Canada COVID-19 support measures. If you’ve received support from another measure but still face liquidity issues, you are encouraged to apply. Eligible Applicants that have or will receive a CEBA loan would not be eligible to have any portion of their FedNor loan forgiven. Applicants that have or will receive CEWS would not be able to request RRRF support for salaries or benefits. Likewise, if you received assistance from the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program (CECRA), rent would not be an eligible expense under RRRF.

Funding

11) How much funding is available per applicant under the RRRF?

  1. FedNor’s direct assistance will provide repayable and conditionally repayable contributions to eligible SMEs, up to a maximum of $250,000. Support to eligible not-for-profit organizations will be non-repayable.
    The contribution amount will generally be based on six months of eligible and supported costs.
  2. CFDCs will focus on assisting SMEs, including “main street” businesses, such as retail shops, restaurants and corner stores, and businesses of strategic importance to the community with loans normally up to $40,000. Sole proprietors may qualify for loans through their local CFDC.

Due to anticipated high demand for relief funding, the amount of the contribution will be based on the minimum amount of funding required to mitigate COVID-19 impacts.

Please review the guidelines for more information.

12) Does the funding have to be repaid? What are the terms?

  1. All contributions under RRRF through FedNor are interest-free and repayable or conditionally repayable with repayment expected to commence after December 31, 2022.  Repayments will be made in installments over a maximum term of 5-years from the date the first payment was issued. Recipients of contributions up to $40,000 who repay 75-per-cent of their contribution before December 31, 2022, will be granted a 25-per-cent forgiveness up to a maximum of $10,000. The full balance must repaid no later December 31, 2025. All contributions to SMEs will be repayable or conditionally repayable.
  2. All loans under the RRRF through CFDCs are interest-free with no principal payments until December 31, 2022.  Twenty-five per cent up to a maximum of $10,000 in loan forgiveness is available, provided the outstanding balance is repaid by December 31, 2022.  Any part of the loan balance not repaid by that date will be repayable with a nominal interest rate effective January 1, 2023. The full balance of the loan must be repaid no later than December 31, 2025.

Please review the guidelines for more information.

13) Will FedNor funding have any tax implications for my business?

Financial assistance from government programs may have tax implications for your business. It is recommended that advice be obtained from a qualified tax professional.

Application Process

14) How do I apply?

Applicants must complete a one-step Application for Funding.

Refer to the Application Guide for instructions on how to complete FedNor’s Application for Funding.

Incomplete applications cannot be assessed and will be deemed ineligible. Please ensure all mandatory fields are completed and all required supporting documentation is included. If your application is deemed incomplete, you are permitted to submit another application including all required information and documentation.

For more information on FedNor’s COVID-19 relief supports, or on how to complete your Application for Funding, please consult the Program Guidelines prior to submitting an application.

15) What is the deadline for applications?

The application process for the RRRF is ongoing and applications will be assessed on a first-come first-served basis. Applications will be reviewed as they are received until the Fund is fully committed.

16) How many applications can an organization or business submit?

Eligible applicants are limited to one approved submission through the RRRF. Multiple or concurrent submissions from the same applicant are not permitted. In the case of duplicate submissions, where the applicant and project are the same, the last received application will be assessed.

17) I completed the budget forecast on the application form but I don’t see an area to request how much money I am requesting. Where do I enter this information?

As per the instructions on the application form, only enter monthly amounts or monthly average amounts for the cost items for which you are requesting liquidity support. The table will calculate the amount requested over a 6 month period, and the sum of the entire table is your request for funding.

Assessment Process

18) How will applications be assessed?

Applications to the RRRF will be evaluated on a first come, first serve basis. The applications will be screened for eligibility before proceeding to an assessment to determine the amount of eligible funding.

Complete Applications for funding will undergo a due diligence review. Funding decisions will take into account the minimum amount required to carry out the project, proof that applicants were profitable prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and the severity of impacts.

Incomplete submissions are ineligible. Please ensure all required information is included and that all information is accurate, verifiable, relevant and consistent. If your application is deemed ineligible due to incompleteness, you are permitted to submit another application with all required information and documentation.

Preference may be given to priority areas. Please consult the guidelines for more information on priority areas and the assessment process.

19) What other factors may be used to assess applications?

  • Priority may be given to SMEs that fall within one of the sectors that are key to economic recovery in Northern Ontario:  
    • Agri-food;
    • Forestry;
    • Health and life sciences (private sector only, excluding professional services);
    • Mining supply and services;
    • Manufacturing;
    • Tourism;
    • Information and communication technology;
    • Not-for-profit sector: Chambers of commerce, industry or sector association, tourism organizations;
    • Other sector or applicant of significant importance to a community, region or supply chain.
  • SMEs that are critical to the survival of a community, region or sector (either directly or through supply chains).
  • Support the government’s commitment to inclusive growth (i.e., women, Indigenous peoples, youth, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, LGBTQ2) and Official Language Minority Communities.

Please consult the guidelines for more information on priority areas.

20) What should I do if I find that I have made a mistake in providing financial information to FedNor?

Applicants are encouraged to contact FedNor should they discover an error or omission in their submission.  Applicants should ensure that all information is up to date and included with their application.

21) Will my contribution have any Official Languages Act requirements?

Recipients will be required to express any public acknowledgement of the Agency’s support in both official languages.

RRRF Recipients

22) If I receive funding, what are the next steps?

FedNor staff will develop a contribution agreement between the Government of Canada and the eligible applicant that sets out the obligations and understandings of both parties.

The contribution agreement will outline any requirements, and upon execution of the contribution agreement, the Applicant is then referred to as “the Recipient”.

Funds will not be released until the applicant returns a signed copy of the contribution agreement.

Where applicable, contribution agreement pre-disbursements conditions must be met before payment.

More information on funding will be outlined in the contribution agreement for successful applicants.

23) Will there be any reporting requirements for my contribution?

SMEs will be required to submit a final report that includes:

  • A narrative describing how the contribution received has mitigated the impacts of COVID-19 on the SME;
  • Number of jobs maintained if applicable; and
  • Any other metrics as may be requested by FedNor.

24) Will other Federal Departments or Agencies have access to my personal information?

Information provided to FedNor will be treated in accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. These laws govern the use, protection and disclosure of personal, financial and technical information by federal government departments and agencies. Information provided to FedNor is secured from unauthorized access.

25) How will the Government of Canada ensure appropriate accountability for the use of public funds?

Approved applicants will be monitored by FedNor; recipients will be required to submit attestations and appropriate documentation to verify activities as projects are being completed.

Additional Information

26) How do I get more information?

Please review the Application Guide and Program Guidelines for more detailed information.

Please note: we expect interest in the Fund to be high. Applicants are encouraged to consult the Program Guidelines prior to submitting an application, and contact FedNor should you have additional questions.

For more information on other Government of Canada COVID-19 supports, please visit the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

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