Montréal, March 17, 2021 ‒ The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal announces that it has received support from Quebec’s Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation (MEI) for concrete efforts to accelerate the relaunch of downtown Montréal. Under the theme “I love working downtown,” the Chamber’s efforts will mobilize businesses and private partners to bring back workers to downtown and help strengthen this strategic economic area for Montréal and Quebec. These efforts will complement projects deployed by the Ville de Montréal. The MEI’s contribution is $8.5 million.
“By putting in place the metropolitan economic movement Relaunch MTL, the Chamber has committed to working with all of its partners to support the city’s economy and drive the relaunch of downtown,” said Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. “We are pleased to launch “I love working downtown,” which addresses one of the most serious issues we identified last fall, which is the need to mobilize the community for the lasting relaunch of downtown. This work will extend over months, and we need to prepare for action now. I would like to acknowledge the receptiveness and collaboration of Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon, who understands the challenge involved in relaunching activities in downtown Montréal, a pillar of the Quebec economy.”
“Remote working, lockdown, and travel restrictions have emptied out downtown areas, which are major economic drivers for Quebec,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation. “As a result, our government considers it essential to support businesses, such as stores, restaurants, and hotels, which depend entirely on workers and tourists to prosper. This government aid is in addition to the aid already in place and is designed to better support the relaunch of downtown Montréal and Quebec City by giving oxygen to their economic actors.”
“Because of the health crisis, activities in downtown Montréal that create its economic and social vitality have been put on pause, particularly in-person business, tourism, cultural events, restaurants, and hotels,” said Chantal Rouleau, Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region. “The goal of our support for the Ville de Montréal and the CCMM’s initiatives is to find solutions to mitigate the loss of these attractions, which are the essence of an attractive downtown.”
“In the coming weeks, the Chamber and its partners will be putting in place projects to address the risks of a structural weakening of the downtown business ecosystem,” Michel Leblanc said. “Our efforts will point to the advantages of downtown and working on site. We will develop projects to bring back workers and visitors who have historically chosen downtown to work, study, shop, and be entertained, while respecting health rules. This new phase of action will complement initiatives run by the Ville de Montréal that will target public space.”
“We will work with major employers and businesses to facilitate the fastest possible return of workers to office towers and to convert workers into customers for downtown businesses,” Mr. Leblanc said. “We will help reassign excess office space downtown. We will solicit businesses and representatives of the cultural and creative industries to increase the attractiveness of private and semi-private spaces downtown for workers and visitors. Finally, we will mobilize actors in strategic downtown sectors to develop action plans to support and guide their relaunch.”
“At the heart of these initiatives are the major principles that emerged from the Relaunch MTL exercise in favour of a relaunch that puts people first and that is inclusive, green, innovative, open to the world, and based on everyone’s involvement,” Michel Leblanc said. “For example, the Chamber and its partners plan to develop a strategy on the transition to a green economy and a sustainable downtown. We are confident that by acting now, we can help downtown quickly resume its role as the economic driver of the province and be an incredible showcase for the agility and capacity for innovation of businesses in Quebec and Montréal.”
“I love working downtown” will take the form of four concrete initiatives:
- Return to office towers
- Work space solution
- Creative projects to enhance downtown as a place to work
- Strengthening downtown and its business sectors
For more details about each of these initiatives, please consult the “I love working downtown” information sheet.
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.
Advisor, Media Relations
Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514-871-4000, ext. 4052
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Twitter : @chambremontreal
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