Laval signs agreement to support ‘digital shift’ by retailers

Last week, the City of Laval became the first municipality in Quebec to sign a strategic partnership agreement with the Association québécoise des technologies (AQT) for a program that will provide support to 5,000 retailers across the province that are shifting their business into digital mode.

In Laval, 250 business owners will be participating. The program will initiate them into some of the basic fundamentals of online retail operation and how to optimize business.

In addition to the program, $112,500 in subsidies are also being provided to the Laval business owners to lower the cost of participating. The subsidy will provide each business with $250 to reduce the $750 cost of taking part.

As part of the program, four hours of coaching at the École des entrepreneurs du Québec will be provided, as well as 10 hours of individual counselling by a specialist. The program participants will also be provided access to an online platform for additional training and perks.

“This financial assistance, which is part of the city’s economic re-launch plan, supports a sector that was badly impacted by the pandemic,” said Laval deputy-mayor and executive-committee vice-president Stéphane Boyer who is responsible for economic development dossiers.

“Around 25,400 persons work in the retail sector, which is around 16 per cent of jobs in Laval,” he added. “It is therefore important for Laval to support digital shift projects in order to stimulate growth while ensuring prosperity in this industry.”

To be eligible for the program, retail business operators from Laval must have at least 100 employees and a maximum of four retail outlets here. Those interested can call the City of Laval’s economic development department at 450 978-5959, or send an e-mail to

Third Festival NUM is geared to ‘techno addicts’

The design of robots, software coding and computer programming are among the many topics that will be dealt with during the 3rd Festival NUM, which will be presented from Oct. 29 to Nov. 7 by the City of Laval’s public libraries.

This annual event is growing more popular with youths and their parents every year. This year, up to 20 activities are planned, bringing together technology and the arts. The events will be taking place mostly in virtual format over the library’s YouTube and Zoom channels (the latter requiring pre-registration). There will also be some in-person content.

This year’s Festival NUM is bringing parents into the action. They will be able to take part in a presentation on how their children are using social media.

At the multicultural library, parents with their children will also be able to view a short presentation based on virtual reality, showing the library from various angles. And they will be able to have fun playing an online escape game that presents clues for puzzles to be solved.

This is the third year for the Festival NUM. The festival focuses especially on children coming from disadvantaged homes, encouraging them to use their imaginations and learn about computer and digital technology.