The COVID-19 crisis created an almost immediate economic crisis in Quebec and around the world. All of the territory’s economic sectors were hit, and a significant portion of the population was forced into unemployment.
The gradual reopening of the economy is good news, as long as it is done in an orderly fashion. However, the situation for downtown Montréal is quite different. Businesses in this area have had to get through an additional three weeks of closure, for a total of 11 weeks of interrupted revenue.
Beyond the issue of reopening, Montréal’s downtown area is at risk because its vitality depends largely on traffic generated by its 310,000 workers, 11 million tourists and 100,000 students who used to eat and shop in the area but who will not return for many months.
Montréal’s downtown core is the international showcase of the city and, by extension, Quebec as a whole. Its weight makes it a true driving force for the province’s economy. This is why this situation, which threatens the entire commercial fabric of downtown, is very worrying and must be urgently addressed by governments.
This report proposes an action plan to alleviate the situation and ensure that Montréal’s commercial downtown area does not collapse and instead will be in a position to aid in the post-crisis recovery. The plan puts forward eight actions that aim to reduce operating costs for downtown business owners, increase financial assistance to these business owners, and boost visitor numbers in the downtown area to optimal levels.
Consult the action plan