Can the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund Help You?
By Ellen Baragon, Guest Contributor
The federal government’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) could assist brokers who, for various reasons, have not been able to take advantage of other programs such as the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). The $1 billion fund was launched in May to support small to medium businesses struggling to recover from COVID-19 in rural and remote communities.
It offers interest-free loans for up to $40,000 for operational costs. The federal agency delivering the aid for BC is Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD). The terms of the loans are flexible to permit businesses adequate time to recover, but require some accountability reports. The loan funds are taxable.
However, the RRRF will not be available to REALTORS® who are sole proprietors as that is a basic eligibility barrier.
RRRF Basic Eligibility
To be eligible your business must:
- Not be a sole proprietorship
- Have fewer than 500 full time employees
- Have suffered financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Intend to continue operations in Western Canada
- Were operational as of March 1, 2020
Even businesses that have not had any sales, do not have a payroll, or salaried staff, are eligible.
Businesses that are not eligible for RRRF:
- If your business is eligible for the CEBA program you are not eligible for the RRRF.
- If your business is in a community already served by a Community Futures (CF) office and your business is eligible, then you are not eligible for the RRRF. Find out if your community is already served by a Community Futures office in BC by clicking on this link and typing in your community's name. (For example, Chilliwack, Gibsons, Nelson, etc.)
The Benefits you may receive
If eligible, your business can receive a repayable contribution up to $40,000.The amount will be the lesser of the your estimated total operating balance between April 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020 or $40,000.
Conditions of the RRRF loan
If you receive this funding you will be required to show that the full amount of the contribution was used for operating costs, such as rent, wages and salaries, utilities, insurance, debt expenses, professional fees and property and business taxes.
You will also be required to submit a final report that includes:
- Number of jobs maintained, as a result of RRRF funding
- Confirmation that the business is continuing its operations
- Other data as may be requested by WD
WD may also request a copy of your business' financial statements. The loan repayment terms are flexible.
- No scheduled monthly repayments are required until after December 31, 2022
- Repayment of 75%, or up to $30,000, of the contribution amount, on or before December 31, 2022, will result in the forgiveness of 25%, or up to $10,000 of the total contribution
- If 75% of the contribution amount is not repaid by December 31, 2022, the balance owing will be converted to an additional three (3) year term repayable contribution (with a fixed monthly repayment schedule), beginning January 2023, with no forgivable portion
- The full balance, of the contribution amount must be repaid no later than December 31, 2025
How to apply for the RRRF
* Important: Applications cannot be started and saved, so it must be completed in one session. Incomplete applications will not be assessed and will be considered ineligible for funding.
- You can apply for the RRRF now through the WD. After your application is assessed you will be notified by email with a decision, ideally within 10 business days, however due to current demand there may be a delayed response.
- Due to the volume of inquiries the WD is currently not able to respond to telephone calls. Applicants are advised to refer to the RRRF Frequently Asked Questions or by email to the nearest WD Contact Centre.
- Refer to the application guide for instructions
- Prepare all the requested documentation you'll need before you begin the application process.
- Businesses are limited to the submission of one application for RRRF
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