Joly announces nearly $44 million in support to COVID-impacted businesses

Laval Chamber of Commerce and Industry to receive $344,165 from Ottawa

The Laval Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be receiving $344,165 from the federal government as part of a $44 million pandemic recovery subsidy package to Montreal-region business development agencies announced last week by federal Economic Development Minister Mélanie Joly.

Resilience during pandemic

For a year now, Joly’s ministry said in a statement issued in conjunction with a webcast press conference, “Quebec entrepreneurs have demonstrated great resilience and ingenuity in adapting to the crisis and pursuing their activities. The Government of Canada made a commitment to support them and is renewing its assistance today.

“It is a priority of the Government of Canada to assist Quebec’s small and medium–sized businesses so they can rebound vigorously after the health crisis,” said Joly, who is also Minister for Official Languages, while making the announcement.

Backbone of the economy

“And we will continue to support them as long as this crisis lasts: Our SMEs are the engine of our communities and the backbone of our economy. They create and maintain good local jobs and guarantee regional vitality. The government is committed to accompanying them so that our economy can come back even stronger than before.”

The government’s support – amounting to $43,931,000 – is going to the Réseau des SADC et CAE (a network of not-for-profit organizations working for economic development in the regions of Quebec), PME MTL and eight regional organizations to ensure funding and technical assistance services are offered up to the end of June to needy businesses.

Joly a former entrepreneur

“Those who are involved in economic development now are faced with one of the biggest challenges of our careers,” Joly added during the conference. “As a former entrepreneur myself, I can understand that what’s most important during a crisis is to be able to manage risk.

“And this pandemic has become something like a fog: We are having trouble seeing the challenges before us. So, the goal of the federal government since the beginning of the economic crisis and the pandemic has been to take care of the health and security of our fellow citizens, even though at the economic level it’s been to take care of our entrepreneurs during this crisis.”

CCIL pleased by announcement

In a statement issued by the Laval Chamber of Commerce and Industry following Joly’s announcement, CCIL CEO Caroline De Guire said, “The CCIL is pleased that its federal partners are continuing their direct financial support to Laval’s SMEs.

‘The CCIL is pleased that its federal partners are continuing their direct financial support to Laval’s SMEs,’ says Laval Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Caroline De Guire

“They recognize that the technical assistance offered by the Chamber is turning into an efficient means to help them concretely in the field, whether they are businesses, retailers, or small manufacturers, who remain very fragile from the impacts of the pandemic on Laval’s economy.”

Help for Laval’s businesses

“This technical assistance is offered at no cost through experts who operate service-oriented businesses in Laval,” added CCIL board president Michel Rousseau. “These efforts are not only necessary, but they are part of our vision to assure a durability, resilience and inclusiveness in Laval.”

According to Joly’s department, the new assistance, granted under her ministry’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), will enable close to 1,930 businesses to make it through the crisis while maintaining 7,095 jobs and playing a key role in the economic recovery.

Other funds from Ottawa

The Réseau des Sociétés d’aide au développement des collectivités (SADC) et Centres d’aide aux entreprises (CAE) is receiving two additional contributions totalling $28.4 million to continue to bolster businesses and Organizations in Quebec’s rural communities.

The Chambre de commerce du Montréal Métropolitain, Québec International, Promotion Saguenay, Investissement et Développement Gatineau, Développement PME Chaudière–Appalaches, Pro-Gestion Estrie, Développement économique de l’agglomération de Longueuil and the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Laval are sharing support of up to $3.4 million.

With the support, they believe they will be able to continue to offer their technical support services to businesses and NPOs in their sectors.