Cobourg, ON (March 18, 2021) – Small businesses are at the heart of our economy and many are vital to this community and the COVID-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty for businesses and their employees. Since May 2020, $436.4 million has been made available under the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to southern Ontario businesses through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), including $83.3 million in targeted rural support delivered by Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs).
Since then, Northumberland Community Futures Development Corp (CFDC) provided $1,580,000 in liquidity support to help 31 businesses impacted by the pandemic to cover fixed operating costs and maintain 68 jobs. The funding is making a difference in Northumberland County by providing businesses the support they need to navigate the uncertainty of the pandemic while finding ways to grow for the future.
For example, Cobblestone farm, a women-owned bed and breakfast and wedding retreat located in Cobourg was hit hard as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic being within the accommodation and tourism sector. With the support of RRRF through Northumberland CFDC, they received liquidity support to mitigate the effects of pandemic across operating costs, staffing and overall business impacts.
“The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund was crucial in supporting 31 businesses across Northumberland through this pandemic time. We thank the Government of Canada and FedDev Ontario for the opportunity to deliver the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund as an important support to business through this pandemic period. To date we’ve been able to help stabilize 31 businesses on a pathway to recovery.” – Wendy Curtis, Executive Director, Northumberland CFDC
“2020 was going to be a record year for my business, Cobblestone Farm Retreat. Our reservations for weddings, events, retreats and family stays were significantly higher than 2019 which was very exciting. Then COVID hit and everything came to a screeching halt. All of our large events were cancelled along with our international family stays. Without the support of RRRF my business would not have been able to survive. The continued support and guidance has helped me throughout this incredibly difficult time and I cannot thank the team at Northumberland CFDC enough.” – Sam Campbell, Owner, Cobblestone Farm, Northumberland RRRF client
“Our business Fells Meadows (a new business in Northumberland County inspiring people to reconnect with nature and be in retreat to nourish mind, body and soul), was just finding some momentum when the pandemic hit. The RRRF program is enabling us to weather the challenges, particularly with the ability to pay fixed costs through lock down periods and manage cash flow. We are so very grateful for this life-line support. This is walking the talk of “we are in this together’.” – Leslie Fell, Owner, Fells Meadows Farms Ltd, Northumberland RRRF client
“We launched the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund at a time when the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic was sky-high. We knew that Community Futures Development Corporations were in a unique position to help deliver this fund using their local expertise. Now, we are seeing the targeted results of that support, thanks to CFDCs supporting rural businesses and entrepreneurs during these challenging times. We want Canadians to know, we were there for you then, and we will be there for you in the months to come as we work together to come back even stronger.” –The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
“The businesses, workers and organizations in southern Ontario’s rural communities are a significant part of our region’s economic strength. We know they have faced challenges as a result of the pandemic and it is reassuring to see that the local support that our CFDCs have delivered through the RRRF is making a difference for many of them.” – Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario)
• CFDCs deliver a wide variety of programs and services to support community economic development and small business growth. They employ local staff and are each governed by a volunteer board of directors, made up of local residents representing the community.
• Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) provides financing and strategy support for entrepreneurs. Delivering an array of entrepreneurial development and finance programs funded by FedDev Ontario, Northumberland CFDC also manages an investment portfolio that drives business start-up and expansion.
• In southern Ontario, FedDev Ontario is supporting local businesses and organizations, saving tens of thousands of jobs through over $436 million in RRRF funding.