Restaurant owners and owners of Quebec bars that have been closed will have access to emergency financial assistance, to keep them going until the end of October. If their establishment is located in the red zone, they will be entitled to reimbursement of most of their fixed costs for the next four weeks, up to a maximum of $ 15,000.
Eligible expenses are: commercial rent, municipal and school taxes, mortgage interest, electricity or gas charges, insurance, telecommunications costs, permits and association fees. Salaries are excluded. In total, about 13,000 companies would be eligible to take advantage of the boost, the total cost of which could reach up to $ 100 million.
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The announcement was made Thursday by the Prime Minister, François Legault, at a press conference, accompanied by the Minister of the Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, who said he was convinced that the announcement will help most of these companies “to pass through the month of October ”. If the closure order is maintained after October 30, the aid program could be extended, the minister said.
Restaurants and bars interested in obtaining state aid will have to apply for a loan, thanks to the enhancement of two existing government programs, but will not have to repay part of this debt related to fixed costs. of the establishment during the month of October. “Affected companies will be able to get a pardon on their loan, which could go up to $ 15,000 for the month of October,” said Minister Fitzgibbon.
He relies on the “combined” action of the assistance of Quebec and Ottawa, which intervenes rather in the form of wage subsidies until June 2021, to hope to see companies keep their heads above water in the months that come despite the closures imposed. The state’s “pardon” cannot exceed 80% of the amount of the loan taken out or $ 15,000. Restaurants that continue to operate, because they serve take-out or offer a delivery service, will also be eligible for state assistance.
After the painful spring lockdown, bars and restaurants in the red zone have yet to close their doors, this time for the next 28 days. The regions targeted are those of Montreal and its suburbs (82 municipalities), of the greater Quebec City region and of Chaudière-Appalaches, which bring together some 5 million Quebeckers.
Minister Fitzgibbon predicts that around 12,000 restaurants or bars are subject to permanent closure in the short term.
Quebec is the province that has given the most aid to businesses since the start of the pandemic, the premier calculated.
The spokesperson for Quebec solidaire in the matter, the deputy Vincent Marissal, reacted to the announcement by estimating that despite the SOS launched by small entrepreneurs for more than six months, “everything that the CAQ government has given them given, these are loans and tax deferrals. Minister Fitzgibbon never hesitates to turn on the tap for the Birks of this world, but is stingy with our SMEs and VSEs, which are nevertheless the backbone of our economy “.
Affected companies will be able to obtain a pardon on their loan, which could go up to $ 15,000 for the month of October