COVID-19 FARR-PDC Érablière Germain

Additional $1 million deployed by SADC de Papineau-Collines to help rural businesses bounce back


The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF PDC) support businesses affected by COVID-19 that have not benefited from other Canadian Government measures

The SADC de Papineau-Collines is ready to immediately roll out financial aid granted by the Government of Canada through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF PDC) for rural businesses facing financial pressure due to COVID-19.

Last week’s announcement by Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development, represents a $1,032 million program to support businesses in the Papineau RCM, the Collines-de-l’Outaouais RCM, Buckingham and Masson-Angers sectors that attempted to access other federal emergency assistance related to the health crisis and were deemed ineligible or were denied.

This support comes in the form of emergency financial assistance, loans of between $5,000 and $40,000 on flexible and favourable terms. It also includes technical assistance in the areas of market development and business opportunities, improved web and social media practises, communication strategy, adaptation to health measures, and the development of a financial continuity plan.

Start-ups that are less than one year old, self-employed workers and businesses with a payroll of less than $20,000 are specifically targeted by the program. This support focuses on economic recovery and is intended to prepare organizations for the aftermath of COVID-19, as well as a potential second wave of

Much Needed Help

Véronique Lortie-Bourgeois and Karl St-Germain de “l’Érablière St-Germain”, a start-up company from L’Ange-Gardien, expected last March to have a promising first sugar season, but things quickly fell by the wayside. However, the creative couple seized the opportunity to sell take-out meals, a service to be offered all summer long, and consisting of an evolving summer menu including Mechoui and even special Father’s Day boxes. They thank those who order on a regular basis, given that under the circumstances, every order counts.

“We didn’t work this hard to give up. Our hearts and savings are fully invested in it, so we keep going and we don’t envisage failure,” says Véronique Lortie-Bourgeois. “I don’t know of any adjectives that are strong enough to describe the position we’re in. We’re simply two people working incredible hours at the shack, as the majority of CERB-eligible employees stay at home, given that we can’t guarantee them a salary. Why don’t we have access to a wage subsidy like other companies?”

Thanks to the RRRF PDC recovery Fund, the SADC was able to provide a quick loan to the sugar bush start-up. Welcomed help, which will afford the business owners a much needed break.

“It is clear that this is temporary relief that will afford us the time to develop loyal clientele who will permit us to keep the company afloat for as long as the pandemic lasts,” adds Ms. Lortie-Bourgeois.