Community Futures offering COVID-19-related business loans


If you own a local business in rural southwestern Ontario, you now have access to repayable, zero percent interest loans up to $40,000 each through the 21 Community Futures Development Corporation offices in the region, including the Community Futures Development Corporation of Chatham-Kent.

The new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) from the Government of Canada provides repayable loans to help small- and medium-sized businesses with fixed operating costs where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $39.4 million of the overall $287 million fund has been allocated for the CFDCs across southern Ontario to distribute to qualifying main street businesses.

“If you own a local business in southwestern Ontario such as a restaurant, corner store or retail shop and you need help making ends meet during this crisis, this fund is for you,” Allan Simm, Chairman of the Western Ontario Community Futures Development Corporation (WOCFDC) Board in a media release. “Your local CFDC office will be glad to answer any questions and help you through the application process.”

Kate Burns Gallagher, Executive Director, Economic Development for the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, said the new funding is greatly needed.

“In working with my colleagues at the county level, we hear time and time again that there are large numbers of businesses that are not able to access the federal funding that was previously announced. They’re just too small. This regional relief fund really gets to those businesses in our rural communities.”

Businesses that are not eligible or have been declined for other Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures will be given priority for the loans. Small and medium-sized businesses that have received some funding but have operating expenses in excess of the support already received may also apply. If the loans are repaid in full prior to December 31, 2022, 25 per cent (to a maximum of $10,000) will be forgiven.

Larger businesses requiring loans in excess of $40,000 can apply for funding up to $500,000 directly through FedDev Ontario.


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