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COVID-19: Emergency aid for rent is a lifeline for small businesses hit hard by the crisis

Montréal, April 24, 2020 The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal welcomes today’s announcement by the Government of Canada of an agreement in principle with the provinces that will make it possible to reduce commercial rents for certain SMEs by 75% for the months of April, May and June. This additional measure is a lifeline for small merchants that have lost substantial revenue since the beginning of the crisis.


“The Chamber has been regularly surveying businesses in Greater Montréal since the beginning of the crisis,” said Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. “A survey conducted from April 3 to 7 showed that 45% of respondents have had difficulty paying their fixed costs since the beginning of the crisis and that 59% anticipated they would be hard-pressed to do so for May 1.”


“For these merchants, the aid announced this morning is significant, and it will help them keep their heads above water until their activities resume,” Mr. Leblanc said. “This new measure shows that the federal government understands the reality of small merchants, who are feeling the impact of non-essential businesses having been closed for a month now. Payment in the form of non-repayable loans also shows that the federal government is taking into consideration business debt levels, which would be a hurdle to merchants resuming their activities.”


“Aid to merchants in the form of rent subsidies was a necessary move,” Michel Leblanc said. “However, this is a difficult program to calibrate. The threshold of a 70% loss in revenue and the requirement that owners accept a 25% reduction in rent are two parameters that may need to be reconsidered in the coming weeks.”


About the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM)

With a network of over 8,000 members, the CCMM is active on two fronts: being the voice of the Montréal business community and delivering specialized services to businesses and their representatives. With its finger on the pulse of current events, it acts on issues that are decisive for the prosperity of the city’s businesses. With the support of the Acclr experts, the CCMM’s goal is to accelerate the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes, at home and around the world.




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Julie Serero

Advisor, Media Relations

Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042


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