Government of Canada supports 340 jobs in Saskatchewan through targeted help for businesses
SASKATOON, SK, Nov. 13, 2020
Funding provides Saskatchewan entrepreneurs with the advice and tools they need to mitigate COVID-19 impacts on their businesses.
SASKATOON, SK, Nov. 13, 2020 /CNW/ - From the outset, the Government of Canada has taken action to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to protect their contributions to the Canadian economy. One measure of support is the $1.5 billion Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), delivered by Canada's Regional Development Agencies and intended for small and medium-sized enterprises that have been unable to access other federal relief measures, putting jobs and livelihoods at risk.
The pandemic has created new barriers and challenges for Saskatchewan businesses, including access to capital, and there has been strong demand for RRRF funding. The traditional broad range of supports available to entrepreneurs through the business ecosystem, such as industry associations and chambers of commerce, face their own pandemic-related challenges. These not-for-profit organizations, best placed to identify and nurture locally relevant initiatives that meet regional needs, are struggling at the time that they are needed most.
Support for the business ecosystem
Today, Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Western Economic Diversification Canada) and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (Canada Water Agency), announced $1.925 million from Western Economic Diversification Canada for business ecosystem support in Saskatchewan. This RRRF funding for 24 organizations will ultimately support over 2,600 enterprises in all stages of the business lifecycle, from nurturing start-ups to the ongoing development of mature firms. Many of the programs being funded are already under way, bringing immediate support for local companies, and making a difference for families and communities across the West.
Today's funding supports over 340 jobs directly in the funded organizations, as well as many more in the small businesses that benefit from the programs they deliver. This contributes to the Government of Canada's campaign to create one million jobs, restoring employment to previous levels.
For example, the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce plans to analyze, coordinate and provide support to local labour markets in rural Saskatchewan communities. Under this project, the Chamber will work with at least 12 rural chambers of commerce to develop policies and actions that help integrate Indigenous, immigrant, youth, and women into the local workforce. Many rural communities in Saskatchewan have struggled to incorporate local labour groups, and this situation was worsened by COVID-19 social distancing and economic impact.
This RRRF funding complements existing programs offered by WD, such as the WES Ecosystem Fund and the Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) program. RRRF will help industry sectors retain the knowledge and skills of valuable employees, and maintain the capital flows and supply chains needed to build back better in an economic recovery.
"Businesses all across Canada have been hard hit hard by COVID-19. That's why, through Regional Development Agencies like Western Economic Diversification Canada, the federal government is providing businesses vital support, and saving thousands of jobs. Our government committed to create one million jobs, and I want to assure Saskatchewan business owners and workers that while we manage this health crisis, we will be there to support you for as long as it takes, with whatever it takes, and we will get through this together."
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada
"Across the Prairies, COVID-19 has caused pain and anxiety for small businesses and the people they employ. The Government of Canada is helping business organizations in the community plant seeds of hope, giving many small businesses the tools they need to respond to the challenges this pandemic has thrown at us."
- Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Western Economic Diversification Canada) and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (Canada Water Agency)
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) was established to mitigate financial pressure experienced by businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and assist them to continue their operations and keep paying their employees.
In the West, over $567 million in RRRF support is flowing through Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD).
Through RRRF, WD is providing repayable interest-free contributions to eligible western firms seeking up to $40,000.
Through RRRF, WD is also providing up to $1,000,000 in interest-free funding to cope with financial hardship resulting from COVID-19.
Many business support organizations have been vital resources for local businesses to first, adapt to lockdown regulations, and then, to be ready as the economy began to open up. Through RRRF, WD is funding programs to help companies adapt to COVID-related requirements and new ways of doing business.
Today, Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Western Economic Diversification Canada) and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (Canada Water Agency), announced $1.925 million for business support services across Saskatchewan. This Western Economic Diversification Canada funding comes from the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) and supports the Government of Canada's campaign to create more than one million jobs.
The Government of Canada continues to provide funding directly to businesses and individuals to protect jobs and help them weather the economic impacts of COVID-19. But government can't do it alone. The funding in this announcement goes to not-for-profit organizations that help local businesses survive and thrive. Among the services they provide:
Transitioning to a digital marketplace
These services are often as important as revenue and liquidity for the success of a small business.
$1.925 million to help support Saskatchewan's Main Street businesses and SMEs
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund was established to reduce the financial pressure on businesses and allow them to keep operating, preserving jobs. The projects announced today include funding for 24 projects to support local businesses across the province.
Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada Inc.
AgWest Bio Inc.
Alliance of Manufacturers & Exporters Canada
Canadian Western Agribition Association
Economic Development Regina Inc.
Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce
International Minerals Innovation Institute
Keewatin Community Development Association Inc.
New North SANC Service Inc.
North Saskatoon Business Association
Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute
Regina & District Chamber of Commerce
Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce
Saskatchewan Economic Development Association
Saskatchewan First Nations Economic Development Network Inc.
Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre
Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies
Saskatchewan Industrial and Mining Suppliers Association
Saskatchewan Mining Association Inc.
Saskatchewan Recording Industry Association Inc.
Saskatchewan Science Centre
Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority Inc.
Valhalla Global Accelerator Ltd.
Follow the department on Twitter: @WD_Canada
WD Toll-Free Number: 1-888-338-WEST (9378)
TTY (telecommunications device for the hearing impaired): 1-877-303-3388
SOURCE Western Economic Diversification Canada