Regional Relief and Recovery Fund – Women’s Enterprise Initiative Stream
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) was announced by the Government of Canada to provide financial support directly to small and medium-sized women-owned or -led businesses. Loans of up to $40,000 are available through Women’s Enterprise Initiative (WEI) organizations across Western Canada to address COVID-19 impacts on short-term stability.
This access to financing will support small enterprises that are unable to access larger federal relief funding programs, or unable to obtain a loan/credit from traditional financial institutions, and that are struggling with working capital needs.
How the RRRF is being administered in Western Canada
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is collaborating with several partner organizations to deliver the Fund in Western Canada.
Funding offered through Women’s Enterprise Initiative organizations in Western Canada is intended for rural or urban women-owned or women-led businesses (including sole proprietors and social enterprises). WEI will deliver loans up to a maximum of $40,000.
Women-owned or women-led businesses requesting over $40,000 must apply through Western Economic Diversification Canada.
- Small and medium-sized women-owned or women-led businesses.
- Eligible applicants include sole proprietors and “main street” businesses, such as retail shops, restaurants, corner stores etc. and businesses of strategic importance to the community.
- Eligible applicants must also meet the following criteria which will be captured in an attestation form:
- established prior to March 1, 2020;
- impacted adversely due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
- viable and not experiencing financial pressures prior to March 1, 2020;
- are ineligible, and/ or not receiving other federal relief support for the same expenditures.
Loans are to cover only fixed cost. Costs such as rent, salaries and benefits will only be considered if the applicant is ineligible, rejected and/or not already receiving assistance for these costs from other federal and provincial funding measures.
- salaries, and benefits (will only be considered if not eligible or declined from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy;
- property taxes;
- rent; (applicants are expected to pursue with their landlord access to the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses);
- cleaning supplies and additional safety measures;
- bank interest/charges;
- office supplies and vehicle operating expenses;
- lease payments for existing equipment and machinery;
- professional fees;
- insurances; and
- other eligible expenses associated with retooling, rethinking workflows, automation, robotics, developing new markets, etc.
Parameters of the RRRF
- Maximum assistance will be $40,000;
- 0% interest and no principal payments until December 31, 2022;
- Principal repayments can be voluntarily made at any time;
- 25% (not to exceed $10,000) can be forgiven provided the Client has paid 75% of the original loan amount prior to December 31, 2022;
- If the Client is unable to repay the loan by December 31, 2022, the loan will be converted to a three-year term loan with interest rates up to 5%, effective January 1, 2023. The full balance must be repaid no later than December 31, 2025;
How to apply through the WEI Stream
There is a WEI in each western province that serves urban and rural women-owned or women-led businesses. Applicants from women-owned or women-led businesses are asked to apply through the website of the WEI organization in their province:
- British Columbia – Women's Enterprise Centre
- Alberta – Alberta Women Entrepreneurs
- Saskatchewan – Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc.
- Manitoba – Women’s Enterprise Centre
More information and questions
For additional RRRF information, contact your nearest WD regional office.
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