Businesses in the Orillia area have received a total of $2.3 million to mitigate COVID-19 impacts
Small businesses are at the heart of our economy. So 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 Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), including $83.3 million in targeted rural support delivered by Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs), of which the Orillia Area CDC is one.
Since then, the Orillia Area CDC provided $2.3 million in liquidity support to help 59 businesses impacted by the pandemic to cover fixed operating costs and maintain 140 jobs. The funding is making a difference in the Orillia area by providing businesses the support they need to navigate the uncertainty of the pandemic while finding ways to grow for the future.
One example of support provided was to local eco-tourism business, Glen Oro Farm. Business owner Luke Sedgwick noted, “Last spring we were hit with the realization that the construction plans we had for our Glamping Eco-Retreat would need to be significantly altered to keep guests safe during the pandemic. The Orillia Area CDC was like a light in the dark, illuminating the confusing funding and loan options that appeared on the scene—guiding us through exactly what we needed in a timeframe that was unbelievably fast.”
With the help of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, Glen Oro Farm has been able to sustain its operations and is thankful for the support.
“(The CDC’s) support, understanding, and overall help administering the RRRF loan made all the difference to our business, staff, and ultimately to all of our guests that now come to explore this area,” said Sedgwick.
“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.”
– Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario and Official Languages)