Today, CFDC Middlesex announced that businesses in Middlesex County may be eligible to benefit from additional relief funding through the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). This additional funding has been made available because of a $240,000 investment by the Government of Canada in CFDC Middlesex through the RRRF.

This funding is a top-up to the nearly $1 million investment by the Government of Canada in May 2020. Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan has helped to protect millions of jobs, provide emergency support to families and keep businesses afloat as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.

A central part of this is the RRRF, which helps support those who may not be eligible for other programs. Since it was launched in May, over 1,000 businesses have been assisted through the RRRF by each region’s Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC), helping them keep their employees, cover costs and play a role in our economic recovery.

Since the launch of the RRRF, CFDCs have provided critical support for Southern Ontario’s rural businesses, maintaining 3,500 jobs in the region. One recipient of the RRRF in Middlesex County has a history of transforming adversity into an opportunity.

Mostafa Heikal, the Managing Director of Angels Daycares, injured his knee in a car accident before starting his business. After brainstorming ideas, he decided to open a childcare centre and provide an essential service for families in Middlesex County.

A few months after Mostafa opened Angels Daycares in Arva, Ont., the COVID-19 pandemic hit, closing his childcare centre in March 2020. Mostafa and CFDC Middlesex built a strong relationship before this global health crisis, raising his awareness of the RRRF. It would enable him to cover his business’ overhead costs and continue to hire staff for its reopening.

As most businesses were taking a reserved approach to the pandemic, Mostafa opted for a more active way of dealing with these setbacks. Angels Daycares opened its second location in Komoka, Ont., with a third location planned in Thorndale, Ont. With further expansion in the works, Mostafa has correctly recognized his business’ role as an essential service provider.

When all three daycare locations are fully operational — and a publicly available vaccine eases COVID-19 restrictions — Angels Daycares aims to employ approximately 35 full-time staff members and offer roughly 160 childcare spots. Similar to his knee injury, the COVID-19 pandemic has given Mostafa a motivating reason to move forward and accomplish his goals.

With the second wave upon us, businesses across southern Ontario need more support — now. That’s why the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced on October 2, an additional $184 million for FedDev Ontario to help more businesses across southern Ontario through the RRRF.

Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) will deliver $30 million of FedDev Ontario’s additional funding to businesses in rural communities across southern Ontario. CFDCs are providing financial contributions (interest-free loans) to help support fixed operating costs of SMEs, where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

CFDC Middlesex has an additional $240,000 available in RRRF funding to distribute to eligible local businesses. In order to provide targeted assistance to the small towns and communities we serve, CFDC Middlesex is focusing on assisting a range of businesses in our region with loans up to $40,000.

Should you be interested in a loan of $40,000 or more and meet the eligibility criteria outlined on FedDev Ontario’s website, you may wish to apply to FedDev Ontario.