Montreal

Montreal businesses to receive $50M in government aid

The federal and provincial governments announced $50 million in funding to provide Montreal businesses with loans and grants to help cope with the economic fallout brought on by COVID-19. 

Federal and provincial governments offering more loans and grants

Businesses in downtown Montreal have been struggling to get by as fewer people roam the streets. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)

Small and medium-sized businesses in Montreal will soon be able to apply for low-interest loans under a new program.

The federal and provincial governments announced $50 million in funding on Monday to provide Montreal businesses with loans and grants to help cope with the economic fallout brought on by COVID-19. 

The federal government is contributing $30 million, and the province is putting forward $20 million. The funds will be administered by PME MTL, a network of non-profits that provide financing and other services to small and medium-sized business in Montreal.

This is in addition to the $40 million Quebec announced in April

With this new federal budget, small and medium-sized businesses that are ineligible for other federal aid programs are invited to apply for loans of up to $40,000.

Though the program puts a special focus on the downtown core, with $15 million dedicated to that sector, it is open to restaurants and retail stores across the island of Montreal.

Businesses in the city have been allowed to reopen but many are struggling to cover overhead costs with fewer tourists, students and commuters in the streets. 

With this financial aid, Quebec Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon believes the majority of Montreal businesses will be able to stay afloat. 

"The retailers are open and restaurants will open soon," Fitzgibbon said Monday.

"They're not going to make the same amount of money they made a year ago but they're going to make money so it's going to be okay. Not everybody will disappear because we shut down for two months." 

Fitzgibbon said it was important for the government to step in and help Montreal, because the city is taking longer to reopen than the rest of the province. 

Montreal has the most COVID-19 of any Canadian city, with 26,288 of Quebec's 53,047 cases. 

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