The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) reported in its year-end summary that more than $27.6 million was provided to agencies like the Prescott-Russell Community Futures Development Corporation to help almost 380 local businesses to deal with the impact of COVID-19 on their operations.
“Throughout this time of crisis,” stated Mona Fortier, middle class prosperty minister and associate finance minister, “I continue to be impressed by the resilience and creativity shown by so many businesses.”
Much of the funding came through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) through programs that helped businesses adapt to the new commercial reality by either developing or expanding their presence on the Internet for e-commerce, maintaining contact with existing clients and developing new clients for their products and services. RRRF funding also helped local businesses in other areas.
RRRF funding aid was available to businesses in the agriculture, retail, food and beverage, tourism, and other sectors. The Green Beaver Company of Hawkesbury is one example of a local business that benefited from RRIF funding. The company, which specializes in high-quality products made of natural materials, was able to expand its online operation to compete in the e-commerce market.
“As said by Winston Churchill, never waste a good crisis,” stated Alain Ménard, Green Beaver Company president. “I truly believe that crises, like COVID-19, can create new opportunities or key learnings that may be useful in the future. We are so thankful for the FedDev Ontario funding, which helped us to act on an opportunity that positively impacted our sales.”