May 25, 2020

On April 17, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that it would deliver $675 million in financial support to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are unable to access other federal COVID-19 relief measures.

The RRRF will provide financial contributions (interest-free loans) to help support fixed operating costs of SMEs, where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In particular, the RRRF seeks to provide support to southern Ontario SMEs that did not qualify for, or have been rejected from, current Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures.

NOTE: If you have received the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) or the National Research Council Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) Innovation Assistance Program (IAP), you are eligible under the RRRF for financial support, excluding costs associated with salaries and benefits. If you have received a Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan, the CEBA loan amount will be adjusted from the RRRF loan and you will not be eligible to have any portion of the RRRF loan forgiven.

Who Can Apply?

  • A Canadian or provincially incorporated business, co-operative or an Indigenous-owned business located in southern Ontario with 1 to 499 full-time equivalent employees;
  • Facing funding pressures with fixed operating costs, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Have applied to other Government of Canada COVID-19 emergency credit relief measures, for which they are eligible, including:
    • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA);
    • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP);
      • BDC Co-Lending Program
      • EDC Loan Guarantee Program
    • BDC Working Capital Loans;
    • Other applicable targeted and sector-specific COVID-19 programs (e.g., funding for Indigenous entrepreneurs, Farm Credit Canada);
  • Planning to continue to operate its business or resume operations; and
  • A viable business before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ineligible Applicants

  • Government organizations or bodies, or entities owned by a government organization or body;
  • Unions, charitable, religious or fraternal organizations or entities owned by such an organization;
  • Entities that are structured as a holding company; and
  • Entities owned by individuals holding political office.

Eligible Costs

SME funding support for fixed operating costs, where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Capital lease payments for existing equipment and machinery;
  • Salaries and benefits
    • Will only be considered for support if the business is not eligible or declined support from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the NRC-IRAP- Innovation Assistance Program for pre-revenue businesses;
  • Property taxes;
  • Utilities;
  • Bank charges and interest payments;
  • Professional fees;
  • Monthly insurance payments;
  • Rent;
    • Applicants are expected to pursue with their landlord access to the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses (details on CECRA will be available mid-May); and
  • Other fixed operating costs applicable to the applicant.

Ineligible Costs

  • Any costs deemed not reasonable and/or not directly related to a business’ fixed operational expenses;
  • Monthly mortgage and loan payments;
  • New capital expenditures;
  • Refinancing of an existing debt;
  • Costs of amortization and goodwill; and
  • Acquisition of land and buildings.

How To Apply

Applications for funding are accepted on an ongoing basis with no submission deadlines, until the Fund is fully committed.

FedDev Ontario has a single-phase RRRF application process using a single RRRF Application for Funding.

Refer to the Application Guide for instructions on how to complete the RRRF Application for Funding.

One Application for Funding per applicant is permitted. Multiple and concurrent applications from the same applicant will not be considered.

Application review

FedDev Ontario will review applications as they are received.

All applications will be screened initially for completeness. Incomplete applications will not be assessed and will be considered ineligible for funding.

Applicants with incomplete applications are permitted to re-apply with completed applications including all required documentation.

Complete applications are those that include all prescribed documentation containing all information needed for FedDev Ontario to complete the review. Information should be accurate, verifiable, relevant and consistent. Complete applications will undergo a due diligence process where they are assessed against a number of factors.

Assessment criteria include, but are not limited to:

  • Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on business operations;
  • Availability of other financial supports (e.g., access to credit at a financial institution and other federal COVID-19 measures);
  • Viability of the applicant (i.e., ability to repay the contribution); and
  • Economic benefits of RRRF support.


Two funding options are available to all eligible applicants applying to the RRRF through FedDev Ontario.

Eligible Applicants may only apply for assistance under ONE of the two funding options (based on eligibility criteria and funding needs).

The contribution amount will be based on the:

  • Funding option selected (i.e., Maximum Contribution);
  • Eligible operating costs (as per Eligible Costs section);
  • Extent to which other federal COVID-19 measures have been accessed; and
  • Applicant’s ability to repay the contribution.

NOTE: Eligible applicants that have received a CEBA loan must first attempt to access the BCAP measures and BDC Working Capital before applying to the RRRF. They will only be eligible to apply for Option 2.

Reporting Requirements

For both funding options, the SME will be required to submit a Final Report that includes:

  • An attestation that the full amount of the contribution was expended for eligible fixed operating costs;
  • Narrative describing how the contribution received has mitigated the impacts of COVID-19 on the SME;
  • Number of jobs maintained as a result of the contribution received;
  • Confirmation that the SME is continuing its operations; and
  • Other metrics as may be requested by FedDev Ontario.

The SME must submit a copy of their financial statements within one hundred and eighty (180) calendar days of their fiscal year.

For more information, please visit

Disclaimer:  The COVID-19 Canadian tax policies in the above article are changing rapidly as the governments introduce new measures. Certain details have yet to be published. We will aim to update them as soon as they are available.