Community Futures Huron AGM: 82 Huron County businesses helped by RRRF

News Release/For Immediate Release – Businesses in Huron County have received a total of $1.6M through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to mitigate COVID-19 impacts.

April 1st, 2020 to March 31st, 2021 was the 27th year of operations for Community Futures Huron. With the onset of the pandemic, Community Futures Huron was called upon to play our part in navigating the economic challenges. It was with hard work, empathy and pride that the board and staff of Community Futures Huron rose to the challenge. During that time, we were pleased to be able to help stabilize the Huron County economy in a time of crisis.

Small businesses are at the heart of our economy and many are vital to this community and 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).

Community Futures Huron AGM RRRF Report

Joyce Lappin, owner of Hair By Joyce

Since May 2020, Community Futures Huron provided $1.6M in liquidity support to help 82 businesses impacted by the pandemic to cover fixed operating costs and maintain 255 jobs. The funding is making a difference in Huron County by providing businesses the support they need to navigate the uncertainty of the pandemic while finding ways to grow for the future.

For example, Hair By Joyce, a business located in Hensall, Ontario and owned by Joyce Lappin, was struggling. With RRRF assistance through Huron County’s CFDC, Joyce received liquidity support to assist with inventory purchasing and start-up costs.

“We were not able to get aid from other COVID small business relief programs so that is when I reached out to Tina and Paul at Community Futures Huron in Brussels. If not for the help of the RRRF, we would not have been able to pay the plumber and order $2,300 worth of inventory to be able to re-open.”

Joyce Lappin, owner of Hair By Joyce

In addition, Community Futures Huron continued to support local community groups and not-for-profit organizations as they worked to create new economic opportunities throughout the region.

Highlights include:

  • Partnering with the Huron Manufacturing Association on the Careers in Manufacturing Virtual Bus Tours and Student Scholarship programs;
  • Working with the Bayfield Centre for the Arts to develop their branding & marketing strategy;
  • Assisting the Blyth Festival in shifting to an outdoor theatre delivery model for upcoming seasons;
  • Encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs through the Huron Student Honey Project;
  • Providing staffing support for the Bayfield Historical Society & Archives;
  • Helping Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health to develop new revenue generating programs & services;
  • Sponsoring the multiple award-winning Seaforth Back Alley Initiative.

All told, we stimulated $16,288,728 in regional economic development activity, supporting 305 farms, businesses and social enterprises and 522 workers in the local economy.


“The past year has been like no other since our inception. Fortunately, we were provided with the necessary resources to help as many businesses weather the pandemic as we could.”

– Paul Nichol, General Manager, Community Futures Huron

“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 were in a unique position to help deliver this fund using their local expertise. Now, we are seeing the targeted results of that support, thanks to the regional development agencies and CFDCs supporting rural businesses and entrepreneurs to be resilient in 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 as a result of the pandemic 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.”

– Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario and Official Languages)

Quick Facts

  • CFDCs deliver a wide variety of programs and services to support community economic development and small business growth. They employ local staff and are each governed by a volunteer board of directors, made up of local residents representing the community.
  • $1,663,291 in Regional Relief & Recovery Fund Loans were approved by Community Futures Huron to 82 enterprises, saving 255 jobs in the Huron County economy.
  • In southern Ontario, FedDev Ontario is supporting local businesses and organizations, saving tens of thousands of jobs through over $436 million in RRRF funding.

Associated Links


Paul Nichol, General Manager

Cell: 519-525-3338

Office: 226-889-8256 ext. 223


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Community Futures Huron is located at 435 Turnberry Street, Brussels, Ontario. Come see us in this new location.

Office hours are Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 3 pm. Phone: (226) 889-8256;

Areas we serve: Howick, Wingham, Blyth, Brussels, Dungannon, Goderich, Clinton, Seaforth, Hensall, Zurich, Bayfield, Exeter.