Community Futures Development Corporations – Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

Recipient: 36 Community Futures Development Corporations (Southern Ontario)
Region: Southern Ontario
Program: Regional Relief and Recovery Fund
Total funding allocated: $83.3 million

Supporting local businesses in rural southern Ontario
Supporting local businesses in rural southern Ontario

Small businesses are at the heart of our local economies. They are owned and operated by our neighbours and directly give back to their local communities. Supporting small businesses means having access to a greater variety of product choices, that reflect the vibrant and diverse character of the towns they reside in.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses, especially in rural communities, faced many uncertainties. For many businesses this included reducing hours and staff, pivoting to online or curbside pickup, and in some cases, considering closing their doors permanently.

That is why the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, worked closely with southern Ontario’s Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) to deliver over $83 million in critical support to rural businesses through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF).

With this support, CFDCs provided regionally tailored financial and business advisory support services to nearly 1,800 businesses to navigate the uncertainties of the pandemic and empower businesses to continue to grow into the future.

Recipients of these supports included local retail shops, restaurants, corner stores and tourism operators and experiences. This allowed local businesses to cover fixed operating costs and maintain over 6,000 jobs in rural communities across southern Ontario.

For example, the Polmenna Barn, a seasonal wedding venue located in Northumberland County, received RRRF support through Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation when they were unable to operate at normal levels during the pandemic. The liquidity support allowed the Polmenna Barn to remain operational throughout the pandemic despite safety restrictions and date changes.

“With the pandemic, it has been very challenging and stressful for small businesses. With the help and support from our local CFDC, we were able to maintain our seasonal wedding venue in a time when restrictions did not allow for large gatherings, catering, dancing, and all other matters associated with a wedding,” said Blaine and Lynda Tinney of Polmenna Barn.

FedDev Ontario is proud to have the CFDCs as trusted partners to help southern Ontario’s local businesses emerge from the pandemic stronger and more resilient.

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Through the RRRF, the 36 CFDCs across southern Ontario were able to address unique community level issues with personalized responses. Their existing infrastructure allowed CFDCs to provide federal support and resources to their rural neighbours at a time when it was most critical
Diana Jedig, Executive Director of Community Futures Ontario