Quebec does not hide it, if the confinement continues beyond February 8, it will have to adjust its assistance programs to support traders.
“The more we delay the reopening of certain establishments, the more they become vulnerable”, conceded Monday the Minister of the Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, who participated in the unveiling of the report on the Workshops on the future of retail trade in Quebec.
Mr. Fitzgibbon said he was satisfied, so far, with the impact of the financial programs deployed by his ministry, since last spring, aimed at supporting local businesses during the crisis.
“Today, we look at the statistics in Quebec and we see that the number of bankruptcies is lower than last year,” said the Minister. “I think that the measures that have been put in place by our government have been favorable and that the disaster has not happened,” he added.
- Listen to the interview with the Minister of the Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, on QUB radio
The latter was unable to provide a specific date on Monday regarding the resumption of activities for industries hit by restrictions, such as restaurants, gyms and retail.
He said the government is still in analysis and no decision has been made. He confirmed that if necessary, if the confinement stretches after February 8, programs could be improved or adjusted, such as that of Assistance to businesses in regions on maximum alert (AERAM).
“We have always said that we would adjust the AERAM program, which reimburses fixed costs, if necessary. We are currently reviewing this with the Ministry of the Economy. (…) Today, we can be relatively very satisfied, but we must stay alert and be very flexible in our programs, ”said Mr. Fitzgibbon, conceding that certain sectors which are more affected will have to be supported more.
$ 595 million
Last weekend, The newspaper wrote that hotel establishments had rReceived over $ 104 million in financial assistance from Quebec since the start of the pandemic under the Temporary Concerted Action Program for Enterprises (PACTE).
As of November 30, the Ministry of the Economy had granted $ 595 million in loan guarantees through this program.