Photo: Ryan Remiorz, The canadian Press
Small and medium-sized enterprises of Montréal will benefit from this assistance.
Ottawa and Quebec have agreed to increase their support to companies from Montreal particularly affected by the pandemic COVID-19. An additional $ 50 million will be available to entrepreneurs in the form of loans. This boost is welcomed by the business people, because the next few months promise to be difficult for businesses, especially those in the city centre.
“We have heard the cry of the heart of our business and we decided today to make one more step in the right direction “, explained from the outset Monday, Mélanie Joly, the federal minister of economic Development, when she participated with the quebec minister of the Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, and the minister responsible for the Metropolis, Chantal Rouleau, in an announcement on the subsidy program support for enterprises.
Ottawa will provide an additional $ 30 million, and Quebec will pay $ 20 million for small and medium-sized enterprises have access to loans at low interest rates.
Of this sum, 15 million are destined to the shops of downtown Montreal likely to suffer more than others from the economic downturn. It is SMES MTL who will administer the program.
The rent assistance program business will also be improved. Quebec has decided to assume a larger share of the losses incurred by the owners. As a reminder, this program enables traders tenants to reduce their rent by 75% during three months.
Of the natural deaths
In the words of the minister Fitzgibbon, the program has not achieved the success hoped for, but the new settings may encourage the owners of commercial premises to subscribe to it.
The pandemic hurts the traders who are just to reopen their doors. If, each year, between 5 % and 10 % of businesses disappear, this rate could reach 20 % with the pandemic, according to the minister : “there are going to be natural deaths, unfortunately. “
The Chamber of commerce of metropolitan Montreal (BTMM) has welcomed the announcement, even if its president, Michel Leblanc, would have preferred a program not increasing, not the debt of the merchants.
The enhancement of the rent assistance program business is also welcomed. Michel Leblanc believes, however, that limiting this assistance to the months of April, may and June will not be sufficient for the traders in the city centre, given the lack of tourists and the significant reduction of workers in offices. “The people who telework do not have the reflex to go to the city center and go on the commercial street of their neighbourhood,” he explained.
The Conseil québécois du commerce de detail, see with a good eye for improvements to both programs. Its director-general, Stéphane Drouin, argues that businesses that have reopened their doors, ” going relatively well “, even if sales are lower than those of last year. “The most vulnerable are those of the fashion industry, especially the strings that are in malls that are not open to Montreal,” he said.