The Government of Canada and the province of Québec on Monday announced a new $50 million fund meant to support small business owners in the City of Montreal.
The funds will be administered by PME MTL, Montréal’s business support network. The federal government is providing $30 million of the overall fund, through Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED). The capital is part of the recently launched Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF).
“We must support entrepreneurs to ensure the survival of our commercial arteries, especially downtown.”
The remainder of the fund will be provided by the Government of Québec, through its Emergency Assistance to Small and Medium-Sized Businesses program. A sum of $40 million was previously granted to the city through this program as well.
According to CED, the support is aimed at Montréal businesses ineligible for other existing federal measures related to COVID-19. The RRRF itself, part of the federal government’s COVID-19 response, was created to support regional and rural businesses that may not have existing relationships with financial institutions, or don’t qualify for other federal relief programs.
In May, CED received $211 million of the $962 million, which was divided between the six RDAs across Canada.
“To enable Montréal’s economy to bounce back fully, we must support entrepreneurs to ensure the survival of our commercial arteries, especially downtown,” said Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages Mélanie Joly. “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.”
PME MTL is an organization that offers a range of services to entrepreneurs located on the Island of Montreal. Its services span startups, growth, expert advise, training, and financial support.
The funding is in addition to the amounts already provided to the City of Montreal businesses. In early May, The City announced $2 million in the form of grants to entrepreneurs in the retail sector and $2 million to support for social economy businesses. Since the beginning of COVID-19, Québec has also committed to 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. Since the beginning of 2020, Montréal has also reportedly recapitalized the PME MTL network’s funds up to $8.2 million.