5600 employees will benefit from funding provided to Manitoba entrepreneurs to help them access the advice and tools they need to mitigate COVID-19 impacts on their businesses.
November 12, 2020 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Western Economic Diversification Canada
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 Manitoba businesses. The recent rise in COVID-19 cases has added to these challenges. Traditional supports, such as industry associations and Chambers of Commerce, have been working hard to address these challenges. This front-line network of local non-profit organizations offers solutions for local businesses and is important to the health of our economy.
Support for local businesses
Today, Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced over $2.8 million for a robust series of initiatives led by Manitoba’s non-profit business support network. This RRRF funding for 23 organizations will ultimately support 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.
As a result of this funding, over 5,600 employees in Manitoba businesses will benefit from the initiatives being delivered. RRRF will help industry sectors retain the knowledge and skills of valuable employees, and maintain the capital flows and supply chains needed to mitigate the economic impacts of the pandemic. This contributes to the Government’s campaign to create one million jobs, restoring employment to previous levels.
For example, the Winnipeg and Manitoba Chambers of Commerce will provide critical business survival information to Manitoba businesses to assist them in mitigating the effects of COVID-19. The organizations will provide information and services that include business continuity planning, workplace preparedness, and information on safety requirements, leading to improved resiliency, productivity, and competitiveness of SMEs in a COVID-19 environment.
This RRRF funding complements the multi-faceted approach offered by WD to address the economic impacts of COVID-19. This approach includes the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund and the Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) program, among others.