Montreal announces new measures to help businesses survive COVID-19
MONTREAL — Support measures to help businesses across Montreal survive the COVID-19 pandemic were announced by the city on Monday, after the provincial government extended closures for non-essential businesses from April 13 to May 4.
The Plante administration decided it would support the provincial government’s new buy-local initiative by implementing measures to help local businesses survive the crisis.
“Today, we are offering additional support measures that will allow the population to be supplied and businesses to continue some of their activities,” Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said in a statement.
Among the measures announced by the city are an urban delivery service for business owners; free advice for businesses to transition to online sales; municipal tax postponements; and an emergency financial assistance fund.
The urban delivery service will be available for businesses like hardware stores, markets, bookstores and bakeries to deliver their products directly to their clients’ homes. For businesses to qualify for the service, they must be located inside or near a commercial development corporation zone. Owners are invited to consult the city’s website to see if they qualify.
The city is also offering free advice for small businesses to move their sales online. Through this service, owners can create a plan of action, choose providers, and implement online platforms with guidance from the city. Those who’d like help with this are being asked to complete a form by April 17.
The city is also giving business owners until July 2 to pay for the second installment of their property taxes – but other invoice deadlines still stand.
An emergency financial assistance fund of $5 million has also been created, specifically for sectors who the city says have been hit the hardest, like retail stores, creative and cultural industries, and tourism.
As non-essential businesss across the province remain closed, a recent survey shows that some owners are concerned they may not be able to open again due to the financial impact of the crisis.