Funding News – Rural Funding Available in Ontario – COVID-19 Relief Loans

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) provides financial contributions (interest-free loans) to help support fixed operating costs of SMEs, where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Fund, valued at more than $962 million nationally, is delivered by Canada’s six regional development agencies.

In southern Ontario, $252.4 million is available as follows:

  • $213 million for SMEs facing financial pressure; and
  • $39.4 million to provide rural businesses with access to capital and technical support, delivered by southern Ontario’s Community Futures Development Corporations.

Funding available through your local CFDC  – for more information click here

Funding available through FedDev Ontario  For more information, please visit the FedDev Ontario website and consult the Applicant Toolkit.

Business applicants now have an overview of how to fully complete their funding application submissions in an easy-to-use video.     Watch video


Canada Summer Jobs Program – deadline to apply is January 29th.   This is an annual program aims to help young Canadians develop the skills and gain paid work experience.  This year they have introduced temporary flexibilities to respond to the needs of employers and youth in the context of the pandemic.   Employers will be eligible to receive a wage subsidy reimbursement of up to 75% of the minimum hourly wage (normally 50%).   Employers may offer part-time placements (normally only full-time).  Employers may offer job placements between April 26, 2021 and February 26, 2022 (normally only summer months)   https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/funding/canada-summer-jobs.html


Ontario Small Business Support Grant – helps small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the Province-wide shutdown effective December 26, 2020.  Grants with funding between $10,000 to $20,000 will help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the shutdown.  Businesses must demonstrate that they experienced a revenue decline of at least 20% when comparing monthly revenue in April 2019 and April 2020.  New businesses established since April 2019 are also eligible. Businesses will be able to use the support in whatever way makes most sense for them.  For example, some may use the funds to pay employee wages while others may need the monies for inventory. www.ontario.ca/page/ businesses-get-help-covid-19-costs


PPE Support – The Ontario government is helping small businesses with $1,000 PPE support.

To be eligible, your business must have two to nine employees and be in one of the following sectors – retail, accommodation and food services, repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services and gyms and yoga studios.  www.ontario.ca/page/ businesses-get-help-covid-19-costs#section-1


Property Tax and Energy Cost Rebates – businesses that are, or were required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial health measures can apply for rebates, provided in the form of grants, to help with their fixed costs.  Businesses struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of Covid-19 may be eligible to apply for a rebate.  Visit

www. oeb.ca/rates-and-your-bill/covid-19-energy-assistance-programs/covid-19-energy-assistance-program-small.    Municipal and property taxes rebates are also available for eligible businesses. www.ontario.ca/page/businesses-get-help-covid-19-costs#section-2


Tourism Adaptation Fund – RTO9

For tourism businesses in South Frontenac and Frontenac Islands
The COVID – 19 Tourism Adaptation Fund is for tourism-related businesses in the form of a one-time, non-repayable grant of $1,500 – $20,000 for adaptation and re-opening costs incurred between June 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. Applicants need to have a matching cash contribution of 20%.  This is a first come first serve program http://tourismtalk.ca/partnerships/partnership-funding/covid-19-tourism-adaptation-fund/


OHTO Capital Projects Funding Stream – RTO11

For tourism businesses North and Central Frontenac

Capital Projects Program is for tourism-dependent businesses and provides non-repayable funding up to 80% of eligible expenses incurred to modify operations to a maximum of $20,000. This program was created to offset costs related to one-time modifications and/or re-opening costs, implementation of health and safety protocols, and digitization measures. This funding can be applied to any eligible costs incurred between June 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021.
Applications are being accepted on an ongoing basis until Dec. 31, 2021, or until funds are depleted. Priority status will be given to eligible businesses who apply by Thursday, Jan. 31, 2021. This is a first come first serve program.  http://comewander.ca/app/uploads/2021/01/TRIP-Capital-Projects-Program-FINAL.pdf


Digital Main Street – don’t let the name fool you – your business may be eligible even if you are not a main street business.  The program, funded by FedDev Ontario and delivered locally by Launch Lab offers two programs – Future Proof and ShopHere.   In Future Proof, post-secondary students are paired with local experts, including experienced digital marketing professionals and business specialists.  These teams will help develop local and global strategies, advanced digital marketing plans, and optimize your web presence with support provided at no cost.  https://www.launchlabdms.ca/digital-squad .  ShopHERE provides independent small businesses and artists with a quick, easy and no-cost way to get selling online right away. https://www.launchlabdms.ca/shop-here.  The Frontenac CFDC has had a number of clients participate in these programs and found them to be very helpful.



Business Workshops

Introduction to sustainable packaging for food-based businesses   

Thursday, February 4th from 9 am to 11 am  (attendees should join zoom meeting 10 minutes prior to start)

Must register by January 29th.  Fee $5.00 (non-refundable)

To register please visit Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/introduction-to-sustainable-packaging-for-food-based-businesses-tickets-135696324359

This 2-hour virtual workshop is geared to people looking to start or grow their food-based businesses.  Well designed ‘sustainable’ packaging that is fit-for-purpose must meet its functional requirements while minimizing negative environmental impacts. The workshop will introduce four design principles for packaging sustainability: effective, efficient, circular and safe, and illustrate them with examples relevant to small, food-based businesses. It will also identify common misconceptions associated with packaging’s environmental impacts.

About the presenter

Andrew MacDonald’s consulting practice is focused on finding practical, sustainable packaging solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.  Andrew works with the PAC Packaging Consortium’s sustainability team, and is a Lecturer at Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications, where he has taught courses in sustainable packaging, research methods and management studies.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/98332940902?pwd=aHhQaCtPYk1YOEd4MlhDNWdrSi83QT09