Advertisement

Feds announce $600M for coronavirus business relief program

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Trudeau says Feds to add $600 million to business relief fund' Coronavirus: Trudeau says Feds to add $600 million to business relief fund
WATCH ABOVE: Trudeau says Feds to add $600 million to business relief fund – Oct 2, 2020

The federal government is adding $600 million to a fund to help small- and medium-sized businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measure announced today by Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly brings total support through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to more than $1.5 billion.

The government says the fund has already helped more than 12,000 businesses struggling because of the pandemic, which has hit everything from main street boutiques to hotels and restaurants.

Read more: Trudeau pledges $10B he says will create 60K jobs in infrastructure, clean tech

The relief and recovery fund, administered through federal regional development agencies, is intended to help enterprises that might not be eligible for other pandemic-related assistance.

Of the new money, almost $456 million will go to small- and medium-sized operations facing financial pressure to help them keep employees and cover costs.

Story continues below advertisement

Another $144 million will provide rural businesses and communities with access to capital and technical support, and will be delivered by community futures development corporations across the country.

“What we’ve learned is that in certain hard-hit sectors, it was more difficult for businesses to have access to capital through financial institutions, and that’s why they came up to us,” Joly said in an interview.

For instance, in northern Ontario, half of the businesses supported to date are in the tourism sector, she said.

“We’re seeing that all over Canada.”

Click to play video: 'Trudeau commits $50 million to support organizations who help women, children facing violence' Trudeau commits $50 million to support organizations who help women, children facing violence
Trudeau commits $50 million to support organizations who help women, children facing violence – Oct 2, 2020

Money has also gone to startup companies that need investment to stay afloat, she added.

Story continues below advertisement

“That was key, because we need to keep our innovation and our competitive edge, notwithstanding the pandemic.”

Joly said she’s also aware that major downtown cores are “really going through difficult times right now, and we’re looking at solutions.”

The minister said she spoke with chambers of commerce in several big cities this week to see what the government can do to help.

Sponsored content