Survival of SMES: Quebec more optimistic than representatives of businesses

Survie des PME: Québec plus optimiste que les représentants d’entreprises

MONTREAL | Difficult to predict the proportion of shops montreal who will survive the crisis in health and economic, but one thing is for certain, the estimates of the minister of Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, are much more optimistic than those of the representatives of the companies.

“There are 15 500 restaurants in Quebec and 20,000 shops. Every year, there are probably 5-10 % of shops who recycle, it’s going to continue. It’s probably going to be a little bit higher” this year, said on Monday the minister Fitzgibbon, saying to rely on his “intuition.”

“I think that we need to be optimistic. With the liquidity that we put into the system, the rent for example, I think that one is able to save most of the businesses”, he argued.

The CEO of the Chamber of commerce of metropolitan Montreal, Michel Leblanc, is far from being too optimistic, especially in regards to restaurants and bars.

“I’m afraid that for many of them, it is extremely difficult,” said Mr. Leblanc, who believes that up to 20% of the businesses in the town centre could close their doors for good.

Remember that the restaurants will reopen on June 15, outside of the Montreal metropolitan Community, and on June 22 in the inside of it, if all goes well. No date has yet been advanced for the bars.

Gopinath Jeyabalaratnam, senior policy analyst for the canadian Federation of independent business (CFIB), would also be surprised if only 10 % of SMES put the key in the door.

“I’d be careful before saying that virtually all companies in Québec will survive this crisis,” he said.

A survey of the CFIB, conducted this spring, found that about 30 % of the entrepreneurs were concerned that they would not survive without government support supported.

$50 million
Quebec and Ottawa have announced Monday that they will inject jointly $ 50 million additional for SMES montréal, including $ 15 million for the city centre.

These funds will be administered by the network SME-MTL, which will offer loans of $ 40,000 to make up for the lack of liquidity of the companies.

The quebec government also wants to ban evictions-commercial for non-payment of rent until the 1st of August. For the CFIB, this moratorium should be established for the duration of the health crisis.

Currently, a federal program reimburses owners of commercial premises 75 % of the rent for the months of April, may and June, if their tenant has lost at least 70 % of its income. Quebec will invest $ 140 million to increase its contribution, in order to encourage more owners to join. They will then be able to recover 87.5 percent of the rent.

While welcoming this measure, the chamber of commerce and the CFIB recommended to extend it during the summer for the businesses in the town centre, which suffer from a lack of traffic.

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