COVID-19 : $50 million for Montréal's small businesses
8 juin 2020
Montréal, le 8 juin 2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic has hit small and medium‑sized enterprises hard, and their owners have demonstrated resilience and creativity in adapting their operations to health regulations and physical distancing requirements.
Montréal has not escaped the crisis. The effervescence of Montréal's neighbourhoods must be preserved and, to achieve this, the metropolis's commercial arteries need urgent support. The many calls for help to face the precarious situation merchants and businesses are experiencing have been heard.
That is why the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economy and Innovation Pierre Fitzgibbon and Montréal Mayor Valérie Plante today announced the injection of new funding worth $50 million to support businesses. The funds will be administered by PME MTL, the Ville de Montréal's business support network.
The Government of Canada, through Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), is planning to grant up to $30 million to the PME MTL network through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). This support is aimed at Montréal businesses ineligible for other federal measures related to COVID-19 that are already in place.
In addition, the Government of Québec is contributing $20 million more to the envelope for the Ville de Montréal under the Aide d'urgence aux petites et moyennes entreprises program to come to the assistance of metropolis SMEs facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. A sum of $40 million was previously granted to the Ville de Montréal through this program.
This funding is in addition to the amounts already injected by the Ville de Montréal. The City announced on May 7, 2020, $2M in additional support in the form of grants to entrepreneurs in the retail sector and $2M to support social economy businesses. Since the beginning of the crisis, the City has also announced that it will cover for six months the interest portion of loans taken out by businesses from PME MTL through the Fonds PME MTL, the Fonds Locaux de Solidarité, the Fonds de Commercialisation des innovations and the Fonds d'aide d'urgence worth $40M from the Government of Québec. Finally, since the beginning of 2020, Montréal has recapitalized the PME MTL network's funds up to $8.2M.
These new funds for Montréal are a testament to the great economic solidarity that exists among the three levels of government. They have come together to offer additional support adapted to Montréal's small and medium-sized enterprises, as part of a project piloted by the PME MTL network.
A frontline partner to the metropolis's small and medium-sized enterprises since 2015, the PME MTL network is well acquainted with their reality. Composed of six non-profit organizations (NPOs), it serves Île de Montréal businesses by accompanying and financing them from the start-up phase through to the growth phase. A key player in the Montréal ecosystem, the network is already providing structural support to entrepreneurs hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis.
“To enable Montréal's economy to bounce back fully, we must support entrepreneurs to ensure the survival of our commercial arteries, especially downtown. The collaboration of all players in the business community and the different levels of government is primordial in getting through this crisis and kickstarting our economy. Today, we are witnessing unprecedented economic solidarity between the federal government, the Government of Québec and the Ville de Montréal to the benefit of all Montréalers.”
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED
“It is important for governments to listen to the needs of entrepreneurs and business managers to put into place economic measures that are adequate to get through the crisis related to COVID‑19. The economic impacts are still being felt in Quebec's metropolis, where the reopening of various sectors of activity was delayed due to the wider propagation of the virus. I therefore salute the work of collaboration between the federal and provincial governments and the Ville de Montréal, which will enable more Montréal businesses to get through the crisis. The Government of Québec has also deemed it necessary to add $20 million more in financial assistance for Montréal under its SME program, bringing it to a total of $60 million. Our objective is to ensure the continued existence of businesses and to safeguard thousands of jobs.”
Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister Responsible for the Lanaudière Region
“Your government has heard the call of Montréal's entrepreneurs, who are facing challenges of considerable magnitude. The enhanced funding announced today will enable small and medium-sized enterprises to continue to contribute to the development and vitality of our economy, to maintain jobs and to pursue their operations. This contribution, across all sectors of activity, including retail and the social economy, is essential to the metropolis's dynamism. The audacity and determination of these businesses are so many strengths we are counting on to ensure the resiliency of the communities in which they operate and, more broadly, to help the Montréal region with its economic recovery.”
Chantal Rouleau, Minister of Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region
“This financial support is giving a second wind to the entrepreneurs and merchants that make Montréal the heart of the Quebec economy and a hub of the Canadian economy. Our metropolis is characterized by an economic dynamism carried by the tireless work and commitment of all players in the Montréal business community. I would like to thank the governments of Québec and Canada for this significant support during this exceptional period of time. The solidarity, mutual assistance and collaboration that animate us are a testament to our shared will to move forward for the good of the community and the Montréal of tomorrow.”
Valérie Plante, Mayor of the City of Montréal
“We highlight this collaboration between the two levels of government and the Ville de Montréal that will enable our Montréal businesses to breathe easier. SMEs have the potential to transform our economy. By entrusting our network with the administration of these exceptional funds, the governments of Canada and Québec, as well as the Ville de Montréal, are enabling us to enhance our ability to support businesses financially and to accentuate our role in local economic development.”
Annie Bourgoin, Marie-Claude Dauray, Jean François Lalonde, Christian Perron, Marc-André Perron and Nicolas Roy, directors general of the six service points of the PME MTL network
The RRRF, totalling $962 million across the country – with $211 million for Quebec –aims to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that cannot benefit from other existing federal measures. In Quebec, the RRRF is being implemented by CED.
Businesses and organizations based in Quebec facing cashflow and working capital issues must submit their funding request based on cashflow and working capital needs, their organization's total sales and their sector of activity.
The funding granted to the PME MTL network is conditional upon the signing of agreements with CED.
The distribution of funds among the six service points of the PME MTL network is determined based on four criteria pre-established by the network: the territory's economic dynamic, measured by its number of establishments; the territory's economic activity, measured by its number of jobs; the scale of the labour market among the territory's population, measured by the total working population; and the vitality of the labour market among the territory's population, measured by the number of unemployed.
The Aide d'urgence aux petites et moyennes entreprises program was established by the Government of Québec this past April to provide working capital support, for a limited time, to businesses facing a precarious financial situation due to COVID-19, so they are able to maintain, strengthen or kickstart their operations. An initial envelope of $150 million was made available to the RCMs and equivalent territories across Quebec to help businesses with cashflow needs below $50,000.
A reminder that the Government of Québec also implemented, this past March 19, the Programme d'action concertée temporaire pour les entreprises (PACTE), which totals $2.5 billion. Through this program, Investissement Québec is offering loan guarantees and loans starting at $50,000 to support businesses with their working capital so they can pursue their activities.