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$600 million to help SME businesses

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Shady Salah – Media in Toronto

The federal government is giving $600 million to help small- and medium-sized businesses deal with possible lockdowns during a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The measure announced on Friday by Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly brings total support through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to more than $1.5 billion.

The funding — aimed at such sectors as tourism, manufacturing and technology — will be added to the $962 million already invested in the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund. About $456 million of the new money will be made available to help businesses struggling to bridge their finances through another lockdown. It will be distributed through regional development agencies.

Another $144 million will help provide capital and technical support to rural businesses and communities through the offices of Community Futures Canada, which provides small business services to rural communities. The minister said she spoke with chambers of commerce in several big cities this week to see what the government can do to help.

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