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Feds announce $49.5M in relief funding for Northern Ontario businesses

Fund tailored to businesses shut out of earlier funding packages
(Stock photo)

Northern Ontario businesses hurting from the impact of COVID-19 can now access a pot of $49.5 million in relief funding through FedNor.

On May 13, the federal government announced funding would come from the $962-million Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, designed to help small and medium-sized businesses that don’t qualify for other funding initiatives, including those in the tourism sector.

Newly eligible businesses can apply for the FedNor money through one of two streams: the Regional Economy Stream and the Community Futures Stream.

Under the Regional Economy Stream, eligible applicants include incorporated companies, corporations or co-operatives, or Indigenous organizations such as Indigenous/First Nation/Métis settlement-owned businesses, as well as various not-for-profit entities.

The fund will support a variety of costs or activities to help SMEs and not-for-profit organizations stay solvent over a period of six months.

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Under the Community Futures Stream, Northern Ontario’s 24 Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) will deliver $25.5 million directly to small businesses and entrepreneurs in rural areas. This includes sole proprietorships or partnerships not covered under the Regional Economy stream.

“Small and medium-sized businesses have been particularly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Shawn Heard, general manager of the East Algoma Community Futures Development Corp., in a news release.

“This investment in the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) will capitalize on Community Futures Development Corporations’ unique position and expertise to help support rural businesses and entrepreneurs during these challenging times.”

Information on eligibility and the application process is available here.