The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) on Wednesday announced $34.3 million for territorial businesses through its new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF).
CanNor, one of the federal government’s six regional development agencies will work in conjunction with partners such as Community Futures Networks in Nunavut and the NWT, territorial governments and Indigenous organizations to help businesses facing difficulties during the pandemic.
Access to the RRRF support can begin Wednesday, said Mélanie Joly, minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.
“No matter how wide we extend the safety net, businesses across Canada continue to slip through the cracks. Many entrepreneurs are still anxious about whether they will get the help they need. With nearly a billion dollars in support across the country, the RRRF will fill in some of the gaps,” Joly said in a news release.
The NWT Chamber of Commerce hopes the RRRF will allow CanNor to “expand its program to include businesses that employ more than 20 people, home-based businesses, not for profits, and the other sectors that have fallen through the cracks as identified in our letter to Minister Joly on April 24,” said the Chamber’s executive director Renée Comeau.
The RRRF comes almost a month after CanNor rolled out its Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF), offering assistance with fixed costs for SMEs in the territories. The value of the RRRF is higher than the $15 million of the NBRF, which when divided across the North offers about $5 million to eligible businesses in each territory.
RELATED REPORTING: Yk businesses relieved at CanNor fixed costs assistance offer
While many companies welcomed the NBRF, some have expressed concern that the NBRF’s eligibility rules shut out home-based businesses in the NWT.
RELATED REPORTING: Home-based businesses feel excluded by CanNor fixed costs assistance fund