Government of Canada Provides Additional Relief Funding to Venture Niagara


News Release

For Immediate Release


Government of Canada Provides Additional Relief Funding to Venture Niagara

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

November 23, 2020                                                                              Thorold, 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, Venture Niagara announced that businesses in the Niagara Region may be eligible to benefit from additional relief funding through 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 small business in Niagara, Venture Niagara will deliver $1.01 million of this additional funding. This funding is in addition to the $2.08M Venture Niagara 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, Venture Niagara has provided liquidity support to help 68 local businesses impacted by the pandemic to cover fixed operating costs and maintain 146 jobs.

For example, Canalside Soda in Grimsby was gaining momentum as a producer of unique sodas made with natural ingredients. When COVID-19 caused farmers’ markets and restaurants to slow down or shut down completely, Canalside lost a significant amount of sales. With RRRF support through Venture Niagara, Canalside Soda was able to cover costs, stabilize operations and develop a new operating model. Now, Canalside has diversified sales channels and has even moved to a new space that will accommodate more outdoor visitors and give the company room to grow.

Funding available through Venture Niagara

With this additional funding, Venture Niagara 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 to 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 Niagara Region is home to a diverse and talented population, the Niagara Multi-Modal Trade Corridor, world-class attractions, and businesses that are key contributors to the Ontario and overall Canadian economy. Throughout this pandemic, our region continues to work together toward economic recovery. That’s why our government continues to support the hard-working business-owners in our area by providing additional RRRF support through Venture Niagara.”

– Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre

“Venture Niagara has supported many local businesses with RRRF loans when they needed it most. Canalside Soda is a great example of how this funding can help Canadians to keep their businesses going through tough times, and prepare for a strong recovery. With this additional funding, the CFDC will be able to deliver targeted loans to more businesses in the area, keeping our region strong and maintaining valuable jobs.”

– Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines

“Venture Niagara staff and volunteers know the day to day challenges that businesses are facing because of COVID-19. We helped 68 businesses with the first round of RRRF funding and now we can get more RRRF assistance to Niagara businesses ”

  • Frank Rupcic, General Manager, Venture Niagara

“The team at Venture Niagara was an invaluable resource when starting my business and building it during the pandemic. When COVID-19 hit, it could have been a real setback, but the financial assistance of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund loan helped me to adjust to the new economic conditions and come out stronger.”

– Sean Polden, Founder, Canalside Soda

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

For more information please contact:

Frank Rupcic, General Manager Venture Niagara

905.680.8085 ext.23