Government of Canada Provides Additional Relief Funding to Community Futures Essex County

Monday, November 23, 2020

Media Release: Community Futures Essex County


Businesses and organizations in Essex to benefit from additional support through the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund


Essex, Ontario

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan has helped to protect millions of jobs, provide emergency support to families and keep businesses afloat as they deal with the impact of COVID-19. A central part of this is the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), which supports those who may not be eligible for other programs.

Today, Community Futures Essex County announced that businesses in Essex County may be eligible to benefit from additional relief funding through the RRRF, thanks to an investment by the Government of Canada

Last month, the Honourable Mélanie Joly announced a top-up to the RRRF through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). To provide targeted support to rural businesses, Community Futures Essex County will deliver $1.16M of this additional funding. This funding is in addition to the $1.09M they received in May 2020.

Since the Fund was launched in May, southern Ontario Community Futures Development Corporations have assisted over 1,000 businesses to cover costs and play a role in our economic recovery, while protecting more than 3,500 jobs in the region.

In that time, Community Futures Essex County has provided almost $995,000 in liquidity support to help 27 local businesses impacted by the pandemic to cover fixed operating costs and maintain 153 jobs.

For example, owners of long-standing family business Bradt’s Butcher Block were slated to open a new business—Cured Craft Brewing Co. in March 2020. The company had already hired staff, created its menu and had product ready to sell when COVID-19 hit and halted the grand opening. The company quickly pivoted to take-out service with the support of RRRF funding, delivered through Community Futures Essex County, which helped to offset fixed costs. As local public health restrictions lifted, the Cured Craft Brewing Co. was able to open its patio and is well on its way to being a pillar in uptown Leamington.

Funding available through Community Futures Essex County

With this additional funding, Community Futures Essex County will continue to assist a range of businesses in the community with interest-free loans up to $40,000 as we navigate the  second wave of the pandemic and prepare for a strong recovery.

Please visit our website for more information on eligibility and the application process.

Should you be interested in a loan of $40,000 or more and meet the eligibility criteria outlined on FedDev Ontario’s website, you may wish to apply for direct support through FedDev Ontario.


“Small- and medium-sized businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19, and the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund is here to help them. With the second wave upon us, we’ve heard clearly from businesses and workers that more support is needed. That’s why we’ve provided additional RRRF funding to help even more business owners and workers. We continue to make investments that support good, local jobs and that will help our economy come back strong.”
 - The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“The impact of COVID-19 has been significant on families, businesses and communities. Essex County is no exception. That’s why our government is making additional funds available through Community Futures Essex County to help further mitigate the challenges faced by our local businesses, organizations and workers. Cured Craft Brewing Co. is one example of a local business that has been supported by our local CFDC. It is investments like these that will  help our community weather the storm.”
- Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament for Windsor—Tecumseh

“In the 25 years we have been assisting businesses in Essex County, never has there been more uncertainty than there is right now.  Community Futures Essex County is pleased to deliver this funding on behalf of the Government of Canada and FedDev Ontario.  This much needed program is making a difference by helping us support and maintain the small businesses that are the backbone of our rural economies.”
- Diane Malenfant, General Manager, Community Futures Essex County

“Opening a new business amidst a global pandemic was definitely not in our business plan. The uncertainty and stress that this brought was profound along with immense costs associated with getting our business off the ground. The comfort provided to us through receiving this RRRF funding when we did not qualify for other programs, allowed us to sleep at night. We are thankful for this and look forward to becoming a pillar within Leamington.”
- Lisa Bradt, Owner, Cured Craft Brewing Co.

Quick Facts

  • 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.
  • Delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) and CFDCs, the RRRF addresses gaps left by other federal relief measures and complements those already provided by other levels of government.
  • Since the launch of the RRRF, FedDev Ontario has provided critical support for southern Ontario’s businesses and other organizations, saving more than 43,000 jobs in the region. This includes support for those vital to the region’s economy and hit hardest by the pandemic, from main street and rural businesses to the tourism, technology and manufacturing sectors to women-led businesses.

Associated Links


CFDC Media Relations Contact
Diane Malenfant