MPP Rickford Announces Recovery Funding for 187 Businesses in Kenora–Rainy RiverPublished on January 28, 2021
Sarah Noonan - New equipment installed at La Place Rendez-Vous Hotel Fort Frances
Northern Ontario Recovery Program helping businesses adapt to new health and safety guidelines
NEWS January 28, 2020
KENORA–RAINY RIVER — Today, Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora–Rainy River, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, announced $3,980,257 for 187 small and medium-sized businesses in Kenora–Rainy River through the Northern Ontario Recovery Program (NORP). NORP grants are being used to support necessary upgrades and improvements to protect employees, customers and the community from the spread of COVID-19.
"As we continue to respond to the ongoing challenge of the global pandemic, our government is supporting business owners, entrepreneurs and workers in Kenora-Rainy River," said Minister Rickford. "COVID-19 has fundamentally changed our day to day life and the way we do business. That's why we took swift action to deliver Northern Ontario Recovery Program funding to businesses making the necessary upgrades and adjustments to serve their communities safely.”
To date, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) has approved NORP funding to 1,038 businesses across the north and counting. NORP grants have been delivered to businesses across a variety of sectors, including tourism, foodservice and retail.
The NOHFC accepted NORP applications until November 20, 2020. Businesses could apply for assistance with projects that help them adjust to the impacts of COVID-19, including, but not limited to:
· Building renovations and new constructions
· Customer and employee safety installations
· Personal protective equipment (PPE) purchases
· Marketing for new business initiatives
· Restructuring of business operations
All other NOHFC programs closed on September 30, 2020, to allow the corporation to focus exclusively on NORP. The Ontario government will launch new and improved NOHFC programs in February 2021.
"Funding allowed us to renovate two of our treatment rooms to sound-proof these rooms, helping ensure confidentiality during virtual visits. Virtual physiotherapy allows us to provide services to anyone with an internet connection throughout the Rainy River District. Not only does this allow access to health care services during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also provides access to healthcare when winter driving from remote areas in our district becomes a barrier to services" – Jeff Wright, Owner, Wright Physiotherapy, Fort Frances
"We had to change our entrance into the building to redirect the traffic flow. Keeping our customers safely spaced from our commercial deliveries. The grant allowed us to upgrade our entrance walkways and move our commercial delivery entrance as well as protect our staff by putting up barriers between them and the customers." – John Derouard, Owner, KSports, Kenora
"The Northern Ontario Recovery Program has allowed us the ability and opportunity to safely expand our marina and rental location docks to properly social distance our clients and allow us to safely operate during these trying times." – Matt Rydberg, Owner, Crawford's Camp, Sioux Narrows
"The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund supported our business in pivoting our food service model during the pandemic. We applied the grant to offset the equipment purchase of a state-of-the-art double combi oven for our kitchen. This new equipment improves the consistency and efficiency of our traditional dine-in products, but it also gave us the versatility to produce take-out items and heat & eat food items to match our new COVID offerings. The COVID impact has been significant on our business. This fund gave us financial support and, equally appreciated, a sense of hope and confidence to pivot and adapt. Thank you for the support." – Sarah Noonan, Owner, La Place Rendez-Vous, Fort Frances