New measures to help businesses in the Estrie

Record Staff

The Quebec government recently announced new measures to support businesses in the Estrie region, including the Emergency Assistance for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) program. The Emergency Assistance for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises program is set up to help SMEs that are currenting struggling financially as a result of COVID-19 and need cash flow of less than $50,000 for their working capital. According to a press release issued earlier this week, the program is meant to provide support to these business for a limited period of time so that they can continue to maintain and carry out their services in the face of the current situation.
A budget of an estimated $150 million will be made available for businesses across the province with $6, 781,153 of the funds being reserved for the MRCs of the Estrie. Montreal will receive $40 million dollars and Quebec City will be receiving $10 million, while the other $100 million will be shared by other MRC’s and territories. Businesses in all sectors of the economy, including cooperatives, non-profit organizations, and social economy enterprises carrying out commercial activities will be eligible to obtain a loan or loan guarantee of up to $50,000. The terms and conditions as well as how to take advantage of the program is highlighted on Qué
These measures are an addition to the Temporary Concerted Action Program that was launched by the provincial government on March 19, 2010 for businesses requiring more than $50,000 for their working capital.  They also compliment the measures put in place by the Federal Government such as the Emergency Account for Canadian Business and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. The provincial government also announced a two-year extension of the Local Investment Funds until December 31, 2022. This will allow MRCs to meet the current needs of Quebec businesses. New measures have been established in regards to the repayment terms of the loans granted by the LIF that will continue to help businesses affected by the pandemic. It will now be possible to receive an additional three-month respite for the repayments of loans, including interest. This will extend the respite period for businesses to six months.
“It is important for us to remain attentive to the needs of entrepreneurs, business leaders and employees in order to put in place adequate economic measures and to modulate our interventions,” said François Bonnardel, Minister of Transport and Minister responsible for the Estrie region. He added that that government wants to provide as much support to Quebec businesses as possible. “That is why our measures will be continually reassessed, based on the changing economic situation and the needs of entrepreneurs.”

Published in the Thursday, April 9 edition of The Record.

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