Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) - Regional economy stream in Northern Ontario

Table of Contents


Scope & Objectives

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) will support vulnerable businesses and eligible not-for-profit organizations that are impacted by the economic disruption associated with the COVID-19 pandemic across the regions of Canada.  Applicants are eligible to receive up to 100 percent of total eligible bridge support costs, covering up to a six (6) month period.

The RRRF will provide repayable and conditionally repayable contributions to eligible small and medium-sized enterprises, up a maximum of $250,000. Support to eligible not-for-profit organizations will be non-repayable.

It is highly recommended that you read this Applicant Guide before submitting an application form. Please pay particular attention to the eligibility criteria to determine if you can apply. Applicants are encouraged to address all submission requirements and ensure that the application submitted contains sufficient detail to enable a thorough review and assessment. Submitting an incomplete application may result in the delay of assessment and/or rejection of an application.

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.

All applications will be evaluated on their ability to achieve the Fund’s objectives and on their relative strengths in the following areas:

  • Applicant has confirmed and attested that it does not qualify for, has been rejected from or has not accessed other Government of Canada COVID-19 relief supports or that it can demonstrate the need for incremental support if funding was received from other programs;
  • Demonstrated need;
  • Priority Sector Alignment:
    • 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
    • Not-for-Profit Sector: Industry or Sector Association
    • Not-for-Profit Sector: Tourism organizations
    • Other sector or applicant of significant importance to a community, region or supply chain.
  • Positive financial position pre-pandemic and viability post-recovery;
  • Degree of COVID-19 impacts;
  • Job maintenance impacts;
  • Equity and Diversity; and,
  • Regional and/or Community context.

Eligibility

IMPORTANT

If you have received financial support from BOTH the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) AND any other Government of Canada COVID-19 business credit support program, you must demonstrate that the amount requested from FedNor is incremental and does not duplicate other supports.

Other business credit support programs may include, but are not limited to:

  • Business Credit Availability Programs through the Business Development Bank of Canada and/or Export Development Canada
  • The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) through your financial institution
  • Liquidity relief loans through a Community Futures Development Corporation

I. Eligible Recipients

Applications are limited to one application per organization.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Businesses such as: incorporated companies, corporations or co-operatives, or Indigenous organizations such as Indigenous/First Nation/Métis Settlement owned businesses, that:
    • Are located or operating in Northern Ontario;
    • Do not qualify, have been rejected from or have not accessed current Government of Canada COVID-19 relief supports or that can demonstrate the need for incremental support if funding was received from other programs;
    • Employ between 1 and 499 individuals on a full-time basis in Canada; and
    • Are negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Not-for profit organizations, such as Chambers of Commerce, Industry or Sector Associations, and Tourism organizations:
    • Based in Northern Ontario and/or offer support to businesses located in Northern Ontario; and
    • Carry out commercial activities, and that are postioned to support SMEs regarding COVID-19.

II. Ineligible Recipients

  • Sole proprietorships or partnerships;
  • Businesses operating in the following sectors:
    • Retail (i.e. convenience stores, gas stations, clothing stores)
    • Accomodation (i.e. hotel, motel, bed and breakfast)
    • Food and Beverage (i.e. restaurants, chip stands, juice stands)
    • Professional Services (i.e. lawyers, doctors, dentists)

Support for businesses and organizations of this nature may be available through a network of Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDC) in Northern Ontario

III. Eligible Activities

Funding is targeted at providing liquidity to eligible SMEs and not-for-profit organizations. This fund will support applicants that do not qualify for, have been rejected from, or have not accessed current Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures. Applicants who are experiencing ongoing liquidity pressures despite accessing other measures will also be considered. Support will be based on minimum operating costs required to maintain operations, deemed reasonable for the project to move forward, and not covered by other sources of funding.

IV. Eligible Costs

The eligible project costs, as well as the project activities, must be reasonable and directly related to assisting your business stay solvent over a period of six months and/or begin preparing for recovery beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible costs are retroactive to March 15, 2020.

Eligible costs include, but are not limited to the following:

  • 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;
  • Insurances, and
  • Other fixed overhead costs and one-time stabilization expenditures.

V. Ineligible Costs

Costs that are deemed unreasonable or not directly related to providing liquidity will not be considered for funding. Costs incurred prior to March 15, 2020 are ineligible.

Ineligible costs include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Land and buildings acquisition;
  • Goodwill;
  • Entertainment expenses;
  • Salary bonuses and dividend payments;
  • Allowance for interest on invested capital, bonds, debentures, and other debts;
  • Losses on investments, bad debts and associated expenses, other projects and contracts;
  • Refinancing of existing debts;
  • Amortization or depreciation of assets;
  • Federal and provincial income taxes, GST (recoverable portion), taxes or surtaxes on excess profit;
  • Provisions for contingencies;
  • Lobbying activities or commissions paid to consultants to secure funding; and
  • Donations, dues and membership fees.

Funding

Financial Assistance

  • Maximum funding will not normally exceed $250,000.
  • Funding will be based on need as presented by a six (6) month cost forecast; the requested amounts will be vetted for reasonableness against the applicant’s historical expenses as presented in financial statements.
  • Only one application per SME or Organization is permitted under the initiative.
  • Applicants are eligible to receive up to 100 percent of eligible bridge support costs.
  • All assistance to SMEs is in the form of repayable or conditionally-repayable contributions.
  • All assistance to not-for-profit organizations is in the form of non-repayable contributions.
  • Total government assistance will be limited to 100 percent of eligible costs. (i.e. if you are asking FedNor to support your liquidity costs at 100%, you cannot receive funding for the same costs from another government organization)

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

Disbursement of Funding

You can expect to receive an email including a contribution agreement and additional forms that will be required to be completed by you.  Following the execution of a contribution agreement signed by both parties, an initial Advance Payment will be issued based on your cost forecast.  An initial advance payment letter will follow and include the final claim reporting package for your completion and submission.  This reporting package will be due October 30, 2020.  The final claim will be required to reconcile the advance payment and to allow release of the balance of funds, as required.

Repayment of funding

All contributions to SMEs will be repayable or conditionally repayable with no interest or security position taken. Repayments will be made in installments over a maximum term of five years from the date the first payment was issued; a payment moratorium is available up to December 31, 2022, however recipients of contributions up to $40,000 who repay 75-per-cent of their contribution before this date, will be granted a 25-per-cent forgiveness up to a maximum of $10,000. The full balance must be repaid no later than December 31, 2025.

All contributions to not-for-profit organizations are non-repayable.

Application Process

A continuous intake of applications will be accepted from the launch of the program on May 13, 2020.  Once the funds are allocated, applications will no longer be accepted.

Application

To be considered for funding, applicants must submit a complete and detailed application, which will allow FedNor to thoroughly review and validate the information against the fund’s eligibility criteria.

Multiple and concurrent project 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. In cases where multiple applications were received, but it is not clear if the applicant or project are the same, FedNor may contact the applicant(s) for clarification before proceeding with the assessment.

FedNor reserves the right to request further information from an applicant in order to confirm that it meets all recipient and cost eligibility requirements.  Applicants that are unable to clearly demonstrate that they meet all recipient and cost eligibility requirements will be rejected, with no right to appeal the decision.

Accessing and Submitting Your Application

The application for financial assistance package, including required forms, is available at http://fednor.gc.ca/eic/site/fednor-fednor.nsf/eng/h_fn04594.html.

The application for financial assistance package consists of the following documents:

  • FedNor Application for Financial Assistance Form;
  • The last two full (2) years of financial statements*;
  • The most recent interim financial statements;
  • A copy of your business continuity or recovery plan, if available; and,
  • Letters Patent / Incorporation Documents, if incorporated (please submit only if readily available).

* If you have been in operation for less than 1 year, please provide interim financial statements.

Steps for Submitting your Application

Complete the application for financial assistance package requirements in full, including the above required documentation as per Part II of this Application Guide.

The FedNor Application for Financial Assistance Form is the primary tool used to submit applications to FedNor.  Using the “To Add Attachments” feature located on the top of the form, attach all other required application for financial assistance package documents to this intake form.

Complete and attest to the Certification section of the FedNor Application for Financial Assistance Form and selecting the “Submit” button.

You will automatically receive an acknowledgement notification, including a project reference number. If you do not receive an acknowledgement notification within 24 hours or have difficulty submitting your application please contact 1-877-333-6673 or contact a FedNor Officer.

Assessment Process

Applications to the RRRF will be evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis. The applications will be screened for eligibility, using the criteria outlined in this document, before proceeding to an assessment to determine the amount of eligible funding.

Decisions will be communicated to applicants as they become available.

At any time during the intake and assessment process, a FedNor Officer may contact the applicant for additional information, including missing or incomplete documentation. Delays in responding to requests for additional information within five (5) business days may result in a delayed decision or rejection.

Confidentiality

All proprietary data, commercially sensitive information and potentially valuable results or ideas will be protected from unauthorized, inadvertent or untimely disclosure. This information will be treated in accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

These laws govern, protect and limit the collection, use and disclosure of personal and confidential information by federal government departments and agencies. Beyond the parties already mentioned above, confidential commercial information will not be shared without the applicant's consent.

Reporting Requirements

Recipients may be required to submit to FedNor periodic project reports and annual financial statements. Project reports will provide details on results and completion of deliverables, including achievement of performance indicators and project benefits identified in the contribution agreement.

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