New federal funds set to flow to local businesses through SEDC

NEUSTADT – The Saugeen Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) announced on Nov. 23 that businesses within its catchment area, including Minto and Wellington North, may be eligible to benefit from additional relief funding through the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund.

This additional funding has been made available because of a $1,040,000 investment by the federal government in SEDC through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund. This funding is a top-up to a $994,888 allocation in May, for a total funding allocation of $2,034,888.

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan has helped to protect millions of jobs, provide emergency support to families and keep businesses afloat as they deal with the impact of COVID-19. A central part of this is the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), which helps support those who may not be eligible for other programs.

Since the launch of the RRRF, CFDCs have provided critical support for southern Ontario’s rural businesses, maintaining 3,500 jobs in the region.

For example, CMAC Training and Consulting Services Inc. is a small business located in Minto operated by Patrick MacNeil and his wife Carolyn MacDonald, providing quality and environmental internal auditing support and training for many types of organizations across North America.

When COVID struck all of their clients put their business on hold resulting in zero income for their company. Although they had funds set aside in their business for emergencies this began to run out as the impact of the virus carried on.

The funding they received from RRRF through the SEDC provided them with  the ability to sustain their business and also provided them with an opportunity to expand their internal auditing services into the Health & Safety sector.

The funding means SEDC has an additional $1,040,000  available in RRRF funding to distribute to eligible local businesses. SEDC is focusing on assisting a range of businesses in our region with loans up to $40,000.

Visit the SEDC website for more information on eligibility and the application process.

Businesses interested in a loan of $40,000 or more may wish to apply to FedDev Ontario, SEDC officials note.

“SEDC is extremely grateful to FedDev Ontario and the federal government for providing these much-needed funds to the SME’s in rural Ontario.  Many of our local businesses did not fit within the parameters of other funding mechanisms, these funds assist those businesses, and allow them to continue to operate and remain within our communities,” stated SEDC general manager Rose Austin.

Michael Hendrick, owner of The Old Post in Harriston, stated, “The support provided by SEDC has made a world of difference for The Old Post. We were able to access funding through the RRRF program that helped us keep running during the lockdown. Our escape room was a major source of revenue and was closed for six months.

“Furthermore, The Old Post had a significant loss of income too. We were able to keep staff on and successfully manage some tough circumstances. The escape room has recently re-opened and our cafe is moving forward. We are now able to pay our mortgage and build confidence moving forward. Thank you, SEDC.”