For Immediate Release
March 25, 2021 | Kawartha Lakes, ONBusinesses in Kawartha Lakes have received a total of $1.29 million in capital and training investments to mitigate COVID-19 impacts over the past year.
Small businesses are at the heart of our economy and many are vital to this community, and many are facing uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since May 2020, $436.4 million has been made available under the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to southern Ontario businesses through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), including $83.3 million in targeted rural support delivered by Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs).
Since then, Kawartha Lakes CFDC provided $1,166,500 in liquidity support for 36 businesses impacted by the pandemic, to cover fixed operating costs and maintain 195 jobs. The funding is making a difference locally by providing businesses the support they need to navigate the uncertainty of the pandemic, while also finding ways to grow for the future.
For example, Smitty’s Restaurant in Lindsay, had to rapidly adapt to new protocols and reduced capacity. With RRRF support through the Kawartha Lakes CFDC, it received funding at a critical time and was able to maintain 25 jobs.
“2020 has proven to be more than just a challenge, and I love a challenge,” said Smitty’s owner/operator, Shelly Hardaker. “The Kawartha Lakes CFDC was instrumental with guidance and the Regional Relief and Recovery Funding. It has enabled me to deal with my reopening and focus 100 per cent on the recovery for my family and all of my staff. We were actually able to hire.”
In addition to over $1.1 million in RRRF loan disbursements, Kawartha Lakes CFDC received additional community based project funding through FedDev Ontario to design and deliver programming with strategic partners to support multiple small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and not-for-profit organizations (NFPs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Six strategic projects including one on one coaching, webinars, and training sessions were launched. Kawartha Lakes SMEs and NFPs received training for adapting workflow and process improvements, enhancing virtual platforms, cyber-security assessments and audits, online business integration, targeted marketing, accounting upgrades and strategic planning. A total of 71 SMEs, social enterprises and NFPs participated with many receiving important follow-up services to assist in pivoting business models and integrating new technologies due to the pandemic.
“Sole proprietors and small- and medium-sized businesses have been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in Kawartha Lakes. These challenging times have required and sometimes provided opportunities to pivot existing business models, innovate and create new ways of doing business and explore new revenue streams. The Kawartha Lakes CFDC is proud to support these entrepreneurs with financial support for relief and recovery during the pandemic as well as strategic business supports and financial assistance for critical projects and training initiatives.”
- Vince Killen, Executive Director, Kawartha Lakes CFDC
“The Storefront to Online (S2O) program, offered through the RRRF Community-Based Funding, with Bob Minhas has been a great experience for the Bobcaygeon Chamber of Commerce. We have learned some very valuable insights on how to improve our digital presence. We have started to put them into practice and are already seeing positive results. Bob is an incredible mentor and makes the whole process fun and rewarding.”
- Denise Benning-Reid, Manager, Bobcaygeon & Area Chamber of Commerce
“We launched the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund at a time when the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic was sky-high. We knew that Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) were in a unique position to help deliver this fund using their local expertise. Now, we are seeing the results of that support, thanks to the regional development agencies and CFDCs supporting businesses and entrepreneurs to be resilient for the future."
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
“The businesses, workers and organizations in southern Ontario’s rural communities are a significant part of our region’s economic strength. We know they have faced challenges and it is reassuring to see that the local support that our CFDCs have delivered through the RRRF is making a difference for many of them.”
- Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario and Official Languages)
Kawartha Lakes CFDC Media Relations Contact
Vince Killen, Executive Director