Media Releases May 13, 2020

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund will help SMEs that fall into COVID-19 support cracks

(OTTAWA, ON) – May 13, 2020 – The Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, issued the following statement today regarding the COVID-19 Regional Relief and Recovery Fund.

“Today’s announcement of $962 million in funding to federal regional economic development agencies will bring desperately needed help to small and medium-sized businesses unable to qualify for the COVID-19 support programs announced to date.

Next to the health and safety of employees and customers, cash liquidity is the most critical concern for SMEs in this crisis.  The need is particularly acute for businesses that were ordered to shut down completely or cut back operations severely. As we enter the third month of economic lockdown, many businesses that have not qualified for support urgently need help now. Unfortunately, for some it’s too late.

The big difference between this program and others announced to date is that regional economic development agencies will have greater flexibility on how and to whom to allocate funding. We hope that this added discretion will allow the agencies to help SMEs with differing business models not covered by broadly-based programs like the Canada Emergency Business Account and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

Regional economic development agencies know their business communities well.  We believe putting funds and the control over them into their hands to ensure solutions for businesses by businesses and for communities by communities will provide a much-needed boost to SME business resiliency.”

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.

For more information, please contact:
Phil Taylor