Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Difficult to reimburse &laquo ; COVID loans» in Trois-Rivières

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Restaurateurs like the owners of the Brasier restaurant will have to repay part of their loan with interest.

  • Francis Beaudry (View profile)Francis Beaudry

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Restaurateurs in Trois-Rivières are having difficulty repaying the aid obtained from the federal government during the pandemic, while the deadline for repaying without interest has arrived.

January 18 was the deadline for repayment of the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), the loan that many businesses across the country received during the pandemic.

More than a third of businesses in the region could have difficulty repaying this loan and even put certain businesses in difficulty, according to Jean-Philippe Martin, member of the board of directors of the Trois-Rivières chamber of commerce and industry.

We were talking perhaps about 37% of catering businesses who said they had difficulty repaying this loan, there were 25% of people who said that it would put their business in real difficulty, which could lead to bankruptcy, he indicates.

Businesses that cannot repay their loans on time could see up to a third of the loan canceled if the outstanding amount is repaid by Thursday. /p>LoadingFAE: Laval union members reject the agreement in principle

ELSE ON INFO: FAE: Laval union members reject the agreement in principle agreement in principle

Otherwise, the debt will be converted into a loan of the full amount at 5% annual interest over three years (to be repaid by December 31, 2026).

Jean-Philippe Martin recalls that in the hope of being able to repay their loan before the deadline, businesses had to reopen their doors, but in certain areas such as catering, conditions were difficult.

We open, we close, we open, we close for almost 2 years with COVID, the labor shortage because many of our employees, especially in restaurants, had gone to work in other areas, he indicates.

The owner of the restaurant le Brasier, Yves Beaudoin, concedes that the date rather, it is monitoring March 28, the deadline to enter into a loan refinancing agreement with a financial institution.

He believes that it will be impossible to repay the loan on time without interest.

At Le Brasier, like many restaurateurs, we expect that at the other deadline […] something will be done because it is not fair in the reality of catering . What we have to face. It's impossible to meet this obligation, he believes.

He deplores the high interest rate on the loan once the deadline has passed.

We risk losing restaurants. We started to lose some. We risk losing more in 2024 if there is not some form of relaxation, I think. Everyone wants to deal with reimbursement, but you have to try to adapt, he says.

Bloc Québécois federal MP from Trois-Rivières René Villemure estimates that 200 businesses in the region could have difficulty repaying this loan.

He deplores that the federal government is silent, in response to the opposition's demands.

He wants a change in the reimbursement method for businesses unable to pay on time .

We want businesses to survive, so we are proposing that the government guarantee the loan at an interest rate that is livable. The government's proposal is 5%, but let's see what we can do with that because we can't just let it go, says Mr. Villemure.

With information from Louis Cloutier, Philippe Granger and an interview on the show Toujours le matin

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