Businesses within the Bruce Community Futures Development Corporation (BCFDC) catchment area unable to access existing federal relief measures can now apply for funding under a new initiative.

"Small businesses are at the heart of our economy and many are vital to this community," read a May 20 media release from BCFDC. "The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in uncertainty and anxiety for businesses and their employees," it added.

On May 13, Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced that southern Ontario businesses can now apply for RRRF. FedDev Ontario is working with key partners such as the Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) across the region to help businesses during these times.

In southern Ontario, $252.4 million is being made available, including $39.4 million to provide rural businesses with access to capital and business support, delivered by southern Ontario’s CFDCs; and $213 million for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) facing financial pressure through FedDev Ontario.

Across Ontario, CFDCs are providing financial contributions by way of interest-free loans to help support fixed operating costs of SMEs, where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to provide targeted assistance to the small towns and communities we serve, BCFDC will focus on assisting “main street” businesses, such as retail shops, restaurants, corner stores, and businesses of strategic importance to our communities, with loans up to $40,000.

“We have heard directly from area businesses the struggles being faced but also the persistence of business owners to do what it takes to recover and build," noted Barb Fisher, General Manager of Bruce CFDC. "This zero percent loan fund with no payments until December 2022, including potential of a partial forgivable portion, is intended to help fill in some gaps that are not being met through other programs."

Municipalities included in the BCFDC catchment include, in the County of Bruce, Northern Bruce Peninsula, South Bruce Peninsula, Saugeen Shores, Arran-Elderslie, Kincardine, Huron Kinloss, South Bruce and Brockton (excluding Walkerton). In Grey, the catchment includes the City of Owen Sound, Georgian Bluffs and part of Meaford (Sydenham Township).

Visit for more information on eligibility and the application process.