Feds award rural SADCs $287 million

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MP William Amos accompanied by the Executive Directors the Pontiac riding’s SADCs, Rhonda Perry (Pontiac), Mélissa Bergeron (Papineau-Collines) and Pierre Monette (Vallée-de-la-Gatineau) during a previous announcement in June 2019.

Allyson Beauregard

OUTAOUAIS – The federal government is providing an additional $962 million in financial support to Canadian businesses, with specific funding for those in rural areas, in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Of this amount, $675 million will be invested in Canada’s regional development agencies to support businesses that don’t have access to current emergency support programs, while the Community Futures Development Network of Canada (Réseau des SADCs) will receive $287 million to support small businesses in rural communities.
“Businesses, particularly in rural areas, face unique realities and challenges as a result of Covid-19. This new funding will help support them and keep our communities strong during this crisis and the period of economic recovery that will follow,” said Pontiac MP William Amos.
About $68 million of the $287 million pot will be directed to Québec’s SADCs and the Pontiac riding’s branches – Vallée-de-la-Gatineau, Pontiac and Papineau-Collines – will all be recipients when the money rolls out in about two weeks.
“Small businesses reside at the core of our economy and we want to offer them as much support as possible to get through this global crisis. These funds will have a big impact on the level of support we can provide to our entrepreneurs,” said Rhonda Perry, Executive Director of SADC Pontiac.
However, the SADCs won’t know for about another two weeks how much they will each receive, how funds will be distributed, or the criteria for businesses to receive them. According to Perry, representatives of the region’s SADCs got together and determined the gaps in current government aid and suggested how the funds should be dispersed, which they submitted to the Réseau des SADCs.
“We’re hoping there will be a mixture of loans and grants,” said Perry, noting it may be tough for businesses to repay loans in the current and short-term economic
climate. Perry hopes the money will help businesses get back on their feet and adjust to new realities once closures are lifted.
“Businesses are experiencing a lot of losses; some are closed completely, others have reduced activity, the tourism industry has no bookings… These businesses will need money to move forward and get back on their feet. We want to be able to help set them up to succeed in the new reality, whatever that is,” explained Perry,
giving the example that increased online presences may be required.