NOTICE: Application intake is now closed. All applications received as of November 20th, 2020 12:00 PM (NOON) EST will be placed on hold subject to availability of funding and in priority queue based on a competitive assessment. Click here to view RE3 approved project list.

About RE3

With the support of FedDev Ontario and the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), RE3 provides non-repayable performance-based contributions of up to $5,000 to assist Southern Ontario-based Women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to REBUILD, REOPEN and REVIVE their businesses.

Northumberland CFDC and WindsorEssex Economic Development are working collaboratively within our regional entrepreneurial ecosystems to advance women-led SMEs across Southern Ontario, effectively positioning for rapid and positive post-pandemic economic recovery.

We will endeavour to pursue regional equity across Eastern Ontario so that all communities can participate in the RE3 initiative, while prioritizing the most competitive applications in each region.

Canadian women entrepreneurs are key to our economic success as a country, and they make invaluable contributions to our communities. However, women still face unique and systemic barriers to starting and growing a business, and they remain underrepresented in our economy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted women entrepreneurs. It has severely affected sectors such as retail, hospitality and food services—sectors where women entrepreneurs are most present.

For these reasons, RE3 is focused on supporting and strengthening the position of Women-led SMEs in our economic recovery, reformation and revitalization.

Applicant Eligibility

What qualifies as “Women-led” for the purposes of applicant eligibility?
A woman is, or women are, driving the direction of the business (for a minimum of one year) as Founder, Co-Founder, CEO, C-Suite Executive (e.g. CTO, CFO, COO, etc.), Owner-Operator, Principal, etc.; and/or the business is owned by a woman or women (combined) that have majority ownership (a minimum of 51% equity stake).
What type of Women-led SMEs qualify for the purposes of applicant eligibility?
  • Sole proprietorships
  • For-profit corporations
What qualifies as Southern Ontario for the purposes of RE3 applicant eligibility?
  • Southern Ontario includes Eastern and Western Ontario regions.
  • Northumberland CFDC is delivering the program across the Eastern Ontario region.
  • Eastern Ontario is defined to include the following Statistics Canada census divisions: 1) Frontenac (includes the City of Kingston); 2) Haliburton; 3) Hastings; 4) Kawartha Lakes; 5) Lanark; 6) Leeds and Grenville; 7) Lennox and Addington; 8) Northumberland; 9) Ottawa; 10) Peterborough; 11) Prescott and Russell; 12) Prince Edward; 13) Renfrew; and, 14) Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.
  • WindsorEssex Economic Development is delivering the program across the Western Ontario region.
  • Western Ontario is defined to include the following Statistics Canada census divisions: 15) Brant; 16) Bruce; 17) Chatham-Kent; 18) Dufferin; 19) Elgin; 20) Essex; 21) Grey; 22) Haldimand-Norfolk; 23) Hamilton; 24) Huron; 25) Lambton; 26) Middlesex; 27) Niagara; 28) Oxford; 29) Perth; 30) Simcoe; 31) Waterloo; 32) Wellington; 33) Durham; 34) Halton; 35) Peel; 36) Toronto; and 37) York.

Eligible Activities

Eligible activities should support the reopening, rebuilding and revival of applicant’s business, such as:

  • Acquisition of required/mandated Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
  • Workspace reconfiguration to accommodate physical distancing
  • Hardware/software upgrades to enhance online capacity, client servicing and accessibility.

Selected projects will be eligible for a one-time non-repayable performance-based contribution up to $5,000 on eligible expenses net of HST. The minimum supported project will not normally be less than $3,000.
Upon request, an initial contribution advance will be considered to support eligible and approved activities of the project pending the execution of an approved project Contribution Agreement.
All projects will be subject to a 20% hold back until completion of the project and all Contribution Agreement requirements are met.
Approved RE3 projects receive funding through a RE3 claims process whereby invoices and proof of purchase will be required as substantiation. RE3 provides reimbursement of 100% of eligible and approved costs incurred by the RE3 recipient up to a maximum of $5,000. Funding is conditional upon performance-based milestones.

Eligible Costs

Eligible costs for project activities may include:

  • Capital
  • Non-capital
  • Expertise

All costs must be reasonable and directly related to the eligible project activities.

Ineligible and/or Unsupported Costs

Ineligible and/or unsupported costs include:

  • Any costs deemed not reasonable and/or not directly related to the eligible project activities
  • Cost incurred prior to the eligibility date or after the project end date as defined in the Project Contribution Agreement
  • Labour
  • Acquisition of land or buildings
  • Acquisition of vehicles
  • Cost associated with entertainment
  • Disposable PPE (such as masks, gloves and gowns)
By way of example only, ineligible costs also include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • costs of intangible assets such as goodwill, whether capitalized or expensed
  • depreciation or amortization expenses
  • interest on invested capital, bonds, or debentures
  • bond discount
  • monthly mortgage and loan payments
  • refinancing of an existing debt
  • losses on investments, bad debts and any other debts
  • fines or penalties
  • costs related to litigation
  • fees for administrators, including payments to any member or officer of the Recipient’s Board of Directors
  • opportunity costs
  • hospitality and entertainment costs
  • franchise fees and franchise license costs
  • lobbyist fees
  • new capital expenditures

Note: The costs of all goods and services acquired from an entity which, in the opinion of the Northumberland CFDC, is not at arm’s length from the Recipient, shall be valued at the cost which, in the opinion of the Northumberland CFDC, represents the fair market value of such goods or services, which cost shall not include any mark up for profit or return on investment.

Reporting Requirements

Eligible recipients will be required to provide Progress/Activity Reports on a monthly basis, and a Final Project Report and financial claim at project end or as required and outlined in the Contribution Agreement with the Northumberland CFDC for projects within the Eastern Ontario region.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposed projects will be scored based on a common set of criteria.

Each criterion is applied with a weight for a total possible score of 100 as follows:

Project Evaluation CriteriaPoints
Removing Barriers:  project activity aligns with the objectives of the initiative, supporting or expediting the reopening or rebuilding the business.50
Business Recovery: project activity supports sustainability and strengthened competitiveness of the business.20
Innovating:  adapting innovative products / technology (e.g. digital transformation, enhancing online capacity, updating software or other devices to support reopening, rebuilding or reconfiguring work/store/customer space within the business).20
Job Maintenance/Creation: number of FTE (full-time equivalent jobs impacted). 10

How to Apply

Online application intake opens July 17, 2020 and will remain open subject to availability of funds. Applications are considered continuously based on the date of receipt of a complete application.

For eligible applicants located in the Eastern Ontario region:

Submit your application online via Reviewr

Northumberland CFDC will carry out application review and due diligence.
Your application will be reviewed confidentially by an independent panel of ecosystem partners.
Committee review and recommendation to the
Board of Directors of Northumberland CFDC.
Decision by Board of Directors of Northumberland CFDC
(Accept or Decline).

For applicants located in the Western Ontario Region please click here.

Decisions are typically made one week after the date of submission of a complete application. The Northumberland CFDC reserves the right to extend the review and due diligence period if reasonably required in order to receive any additional documentation and substantiation necessary for project evaluation.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

If a project is selected for support, the Northumberland CFDC will prepare a Contribution Agreement with terms and conditions. Financial contributions are performance-based and subject to a 20% holdback until the applicant has completed the project, and met all project requirements as outlined in the Contribution Agreement.

Upon request, an initial contribution advance will be considered to support eligible activity and pending the execution of an approved project Contribution Agreement.

Approved RE3 projects receive funding through a RE3 claims process whereby invoices and proof of purchase will be required as substantiation. RE3 provides reimbursement of 100% of eligible and approved costs incurred by the RE3 recipient up to a maximum of $5,000. Funding is conditional upon performance-based milestones.

No project is expected to extend past January 29, 2021.

Applicants can contact a Program Officer with questions concerning a proposed project prior to submitting an online application.


Can our organization request more than $5,000 in funding for a project that is more than $5,000 in total eligible project costs?

Applicants may only request a maximum of $5,000 to support eligible project costs. Projects with total eligible costs above $5,000 are eligible but will only be funded to $5,000.

Can our organization request less than $3,000 in funding for a project?

The minimum project size will typically not be less than $3,000.

Requests for less than this amount may be considered on an individual basis and applicants should contact a Program Officer before applying.

If our organization has received other Federal funding, are we still eligible for Women’s RE3 funding?

Yes, applicants are eligible if they have received or have been approved for other Federal funding. Stacking is allowed but must not exceed 100% of the project costs.

What about the confidentiality of our application?

Please review our Privacy Policy (click here). Any privacy-related questions may be directed to:

Lorraine Bulger, Chief Privacy Officer Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation 739 D’Arcy Street, Suite 120, Cobourg, Ontario, K9A 0H6. By email to: or call 905-372-8315 x223.

What is the composition of the regional review panel?

The regional panel is a primary mechanism for collaborative intelligence in gaining input on regional opportunities for Women-led businesses across Eastern Ontario.

The Panel will include representation from Eastern Ontario inclusive of:

  • The Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Eco-system partners
  • Business Advisory Centres (BACs)
  • Economic Development Organizations
  • Community Futures Development Corporations

The aggregate score of panel members will be an integral component of consideration of applications for approval by Northumberland CFDC.

RE3 Program Manager - Judy Selvig

For more information regarding the RE3 initiative, please contact Judy Selvig.

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