Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

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 unconditionally repayable and conditionally repayable contributions to eligible small and medium-sized enterprises, up to a maximum of $250,000 for a six month period. 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.

If you would like more information on this funding opportunity please visit:

https://fednor.gc.ca/eic/site/fednor-fednor.nsf/eng/fn04592.html#1

Northern Ontario Women – NOW Program

Are you a woman entrepreneur in Northern Ontario and would like to have the opportunity to register for an education course to help you start or grow your business?If you answered yes, then you’re lucky! The program NOW has just received limited funding from FedNor so that for a while we are able to help women entrepreneurs in Northern Ontario pay for training courses.

To learn about the eligibility criteria and / or to get an application, email now@lambac.org today!

Ontario Supports Small Main Street Businesses with $60 Million in Funding through PPE Grant

TORONTO — The Ontario government is continuing to help businesses rebuild, reinvest and create good jobs across the province. Today, Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, announced Ontario’s Main Street Recovery Plan and intends to introduce the Main Street Recovery Act, 2020, proposed legislation that would support small businesses and modernize rules to allow them to innovate and meet the challenges of today. If passed, the act will remove hurdles faced by small businesses and allow them to pursue new opportunities — while maintaining or enhancing protections for public health, safety and the environment.
The plan includes:

A one-time grant of up to $1,000 for eligible main street small businesses — in retail, food and accommodations, and other service sectors — with two to nine employees to help offset the unexpected costs of personal protective equipment (PPE);
Ontario’s Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Network, which links 47 Small Business Enterprise Centres across the province as places where small businesses can access tailored advice and information on local, provincial and federal programs;
Digital Main Street Squads to help small businesses grow online;
Mental health supports for families, frontline workers, young people, children, and Indigenous communities;
Ontario’s Small Business Recovery Webpage to provide single window access to small business supports.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Ontario’s economy, and our government will always be in their corner. Through more than 100 virtual roundtables and discussions with small business owners, their employees, local leaders and economists from all over Ontario, I’ve heard directly about the extraordinary sacrifices small businesses have made to keep their employees safe, their customers confident, and their communities strong,” said Minister Sarkaria. “Our government is standing with main street businesses, and we remain committed to their recovery and renewed success. We are determined to support them through this pandemic and beyond.”
The plan’s regulatory and legislative changes, if passed, will:

Commit to exploring options to permanently allow licensed restaurants and bars to include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order before the existing regulation expires;
Permanently allow 24/7 deliveries to businesses that include retail stores, restaurants, and distribution facilities;
Support the distribution of local food and food products by increasing the range of products sold at the Ontario Food Terminal;
Enable Community Net Metering demonstration projects to help support local communities to develop innovative community projects like net-zero or community micro-grids;
Modernize the Assistive Devices Program;
Support Ontario’s Taxi and Limousine Industry by increasing fines for illegal operators.

“Small business owners and entrepreneurs have overcome significant challenges and made extraordinary sacrifices to continue contributing to our communities through these unprecedented times,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board and Minister Responsible for Digital and Data Transformation. “Providing new, easy-to-use and innovative tools, like our Small Business Recovery Webpage, will give them the information they need to reopen safely and rebuild better in one central location. It’s another way we’re building a smarter government.” 
“Ontario’s small businesses were hit hard by COVID-19, but they were the among the first to step up and demonstrate the best of the Ontario Spirit by bringing forward their innovative ideas and solutions in our time of need,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Building on the steps we took at the outset of the pandemic to provide urgent economic relief to struggling small businesses, Ontario’s Main Street Recovery Plan will help get more and more small businesses back on their feet as we continue down the path to economic recovery together.”

For up to date information on this and other programs, please visit:
The Small Business Recovery webpage: ontario.ca/smallbusiness.

Future Proof – Turning Bricks into Clicks

Sudbury, ON. NORCAT, the global leader in skilled labour training and innovation services, is excited to announce it has been selected by Digital Main Street to deliver its new Future Proof program across Northern Ontario. Launched today, the Future Proof program will help entrepreneurs leverage digital solutions and adapt their businesses to regain lost revenue and become more resilient and competitive as the economy recovers in a post COVID-19 world.

The nine-month project, led by Digital Main Street, is delivered in partnership with the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Invest Ottawa, Communitech and NORCAT.

“As Sudbury’s regional innovation centre, NORCAT’s goal is to accelerate the growth of innovative companies that will drive future economic and social prosperity for Canada,” says Don Duval, NORCAT CEO. “We are proud to collaborate with Digital Main Street and our regional and provincial partners to deliver the Future Proof program across Northern Ontario. By empowering small businesses with digital solutions, data insights and the tools to evolve and adapt to today’s economic climate, we can help entrepreneurs across Northern Ontario not only recover, but grow and thrive.”

The Future Proof program targets small and medium-sized businesses in the retail, hospitality, service and trades sectors looking for an advanced level of support to take their established online presence and ambitious market growth plans to the next level. Through the program, business owners will have access to teams of qualified students, experienced digital marketing professionals and business advisors to develop sophisticated digital marketing plans to identify and pursue new domestic and global market opportunities through online sales.

“Ontario’s small businesses are at the heart of our economy and will play a key role in its recovery. That is why we have invested in Digital Main Street. To help entrepreneurs take advantage of the increase in online commerce by supporting them to execute digital transformations, and ultimately succeed at doing business in a digital world. The Future Proof Program will help protect Ontario’s main streets, support local jobs and help our economy come back stronger than ever,” says The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.

Through Future Proof, NORCAT will work with over 120 small businesses across Northern Ontario before the project’s completion in March 2021. The program is available to small business owners across Northern Ontario, including Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, North Bay, Timmins and Kenora districts.

“Providing businesses with the tools they need to adapt, recover and grow is a key part of our economic recovery plan throughout reopening and into the future. The Future Proof Program powered offered through Digital Main Street is just one example of how Ontario’s recovery will be driven by innovation,” says The Honourable Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Future Proof is the latest initiative developed by Digital Main Street, complimenting the successful ShopHERE and Ontario Grants programs. Created through a partnership between the City of Toronto and the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas to help businesses utilize technology such as websites, social media and e-commerce platforms to grow and pursue new opportunities, Digital Main Street has engaged with over 6,000 main street businesses since 2016.

For more information please contact Lindsay Lane | NORCAT | llane@norcat.org | 705.521.8324 x337


Funding Opportunity for Local Business!

Covid-19 Technology Adoption Fund

CTAF will provide eligible businesses, start-ups, municipalities, and Indigenous communities across Northern Ontario (within the Algoma Region) with access to capital grant funding to acquire digital technology and e-business and marketing solutions to ensure they can survive and adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19.

The Covid-19 Technology Adoption Fund is capital grant funding for eligible applicants of up to $10,000 with a minimum contribution of 25% from the applicant towards the project.

Eligible project types for digital technology and e-business and marketing :

  1. Productivity
    Time tracking software for mapping out where time is spent
    Streamline work processes with digital dictation
    Use project management and task management tools to stay on top of daily responsibilities
    Create a filing system to make it easier to sort, save, share and find documents
    Develop an efficient email management process that makes it easier to stay on top of the flow of messages

2. Financial Management
Use an on-line invoicing service to reduce the cost of collecting from customers
Use on-line budget tracking to keep on top of, and reduce expenses
File reports more efficiently on-line
Use a comprehensive accounting software to streamline business finances

3. Social Marketing Solution
Use software to create a marketing plan that they can edit, update and share with their team
Please note this excludes any form of advertising

4. Collaboration & Learning
Webinars or web conferences for keeping everyone informed with travelfree face-to-face time
Expand their knowledge and empower their team with on-line business training
Set up an Intranet for local file sharing
Communicate quickly and clearly with team messaging software

5. Customer Service
Use social media to conduct customer service and CRM set-up
Set up an on-line help desk or ticket system to handle customer issues
Allow clients to schedule appointments on-line at their convenience
Use on-line surveys and questionnaires to seek customer feedback

6. Mobile Working & Commuting
Create a mobile office that allows them to work productively from anywhere
Try remote desktop applications to access files on their computer
Help companies go paperless, to save money on supplies and storage in their office

How To Apply:

You can submit your application online by filling out our online form HERE. Please contact ttrecroce@ssmic.com if you experience any issues completing or submitting your application form.

Once you have submitted your application form, a member of SSMIC staff will reach out to make contact with you to hold a remote consultation to review your application and project.

If you have any questions regarding applying for this program, please contact the Sault Ste Marie Innovation Centre at 1-705-942-7927.

ATTENTION WAWA BUSINESSES!

Your business could be eligible for up to a $25,000 GRANT to help adjust to the impacts of Covid-19 and the Wawa EDC is here to help!

On Monday, September 28, 2020, Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs announced the creation of a new short-term Northern Ontario Recovery Program (NORP) to help businesses adapt to new COVID-19 public health guidelines and protect employees and customers.

Companies can apply to NORP for assistance with projects that help them adjust to the impacts of COVID-19, such as, but not limited to; building renovations and new constructions, customer and employee safety installations, equipment purchases, including personal protective equipment (PPE) marketing for new business initiatives, and restructuring of business operations.

Applications are open with the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) administering the new program from October 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, and funds are given on a first come first serve basis.

To learn more or apply click the following link: https://nohfc.ca/en/pages/programs/northern-ontario-recovery-program

For more information about applying, please contact Linda Bouchard Berzel by calling 1-705-255-8316 or by sending an email to linda.bouchard-berzel@ontario.ca.

If you need assistance in filling out an application, please call the EDC of Wawa at 705-856-4419, or email jlabonte@edcwawa.ca, we would be happy to help!

Wawa joins Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE Program to Support Local Businesses

To help support our local small businesses, today Wawa is joining the ShopHERE powered by Google program. ShopHERE in collaboration with the Economic Development Corporation of Wawa and the Wawa Business Improvement Association looks to help over 100 local businesses get online this year.

ShopHERE powered by Google, which started in the City of Toronto, helps independent businesses and artists build or improve their digital presence and minimize the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, Google​ Canada announced​ a one million dollar investment to enable Digital Main Street’s to expand the program to municipalities across the country, offering more businesses and artists the opportunity to build their own online store.

The opportunities afforded by the digital economy are still limited if people don’t have the right skills. Understanding this from the outset, the program has been designed to help more small businesses and artists receive the digital skills training needed to participate in the digital economy.

The program is now available to small businesses in Wawa. Local businesses and artists can apply for the program at www.digitalmainstreet.ca/shophere to get their online store built at no-cost.

“Wawa has a thriving community of local bricks and mortar and home-based businesses as well as artisans and artists that will benefit from the program,” says Andy Stevens, Chair of the EDC. “It will make getting online accessible and serve to support businesses and the Wawa Goose Nest Market vendors to access a wider market segment that was not available to these businesses in the past.”

“The Wawa BIA and EDC Wawa are working in concert to help bring the ShopHERE program to local businesses, artisans and artists with the understanding that if businesses are going to thrive in the information era they must have an online presence that is attractive and functional. A big thank you to all the companies and teams involved that are making this program possible.” Liz Talian Clarke, Chair of the Wawa BIA.

“Since Google began its business in Canada nearly twenty years ago, we’ve been focused on helping Canadian businesses of all sizes to unlock the prosperity of the internet,” says Sabrina Geremia, VP and Country Manager, Google Canada. “We remain optimistic and more determined than ever that technology is the toolkit for a world of opportunities. Our one million dollar investment will go towards expanding the ShopHERE program nationally, so we can help small businesses across Canada navigate the challenges ahead.”

To find out more about the ShopHERE program, contact the EDC Wawa at smohamed@edcwawa.ca, by phone 705 856 4419, or go to www.digitalmainstreet.ca/shophere to register directly.