DEV – a local resource available to support businesses impacted by recent restrictions

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Québec Government Assistance to Restaurants, Gyms and Other Businesses

Following the recent closure order to protect the health of the population in the current pandemic context, Development Vaudreuil-Soulanges (DEV) wishes to remind businesses of the existence of financial aid available.

Since the spring of 2020, the Government of Québec has entrusted the MRC of Vaudreuil-Soulanges with the management of the program Aide d’urgence aux petites et moyennes entreprises (PAUPME) and its component Aide aux entreprises en régions en alerte maximale (AERAM). Administered by DEV, this component is once again in effect to cover the financial mpact of the restrictions, retroactive to December 2021.

Eligible businesses include restaurants, bars, theatres, training facilities, amusement and recreation centres and cinemas. Eligible businesses will be able to access the application form online as of Friday, January 14, 2022, by accessing the webpage: developpementvs.com/programmes/fonds-speciaux-covid-19/

Eligible businesses may be eligible for a maximum forgivable loan of $15,000 per month. In addition, at the time of the government’s announcement, many restaurant and catering businesses suffered food losses. To cover the cost of perishable items purchased between December 15 and 30 in preparation for the holiday season, those businesses using AERAM will be eligible for additional non-repayable assistance (grants) of up to $10,000.

Joanne Brunet, DEV’s Executive Director, said that the support offered is adapted to the current difficult period, “it is not intended to increase the financial burden on businesses. The principle of the forgiveness loan makes it possible to convert up to 80% of the loan into a non-repayable financial contribution, which is equivalent to a grant,” she adds.

More than 13 million dollars granted to 257 companies

Since the opening of the PAUPME program and its AERAM component, 257 forgivable loans have been granted to businesses in Vaudreuil-Soulanges. The total value of this assistance is $13,158,000. Guy Pilon, Mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion and President of DEV, invites business owners to contact the organization’s Business Assistance Service (BAS) in order to better understand and benefit from the amounts offered. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, DEV’s team has made it its duty to simplify the process and to quickly support all entrepreneurs who wish to do so. He also invites companies to take advantage of DEV’s technical expertise and their in-depth knowledge of all available assistance, whether local, provincial or federal. There’s always a solution,” he says, “DEV’s financial tools are there, but you have access to people you can trust who have a wealth of experience and contacts to meet the needs of your business.

Support greatly appreciated

For Brigitte Leblanc, owner of La Frite à Brigitte with locations in Coteau-du-Lac and Vaudreuil-Dorion, “the AERAM program has been a great help to our business in 2020 and 2021. DEV’s SAE team made it quick and easy for us to get the financial support we were entitled to,” she says. She encourages other businesses to contact DEV and learn more about the services offered by the economic development organization, including through the developpementvs.com/programmes/fonds-speciaux-covid-19/ web page.

Finally, Ms. Brunet adds that “through our presence and our commitment to the business community, we hope to lessen the impact of the pandemic. So far, we have had very few closures in our portfolio of funded businesses. I believe that by continuing this commitment, we will participate in the recovery of the sectors most affected by the health crisis.

Some 3,700 businesses are located in Vaudreuil-Soulanges and provide nearly 40,000 jobs. The vast majority of these businesses are service companies.

For any questions regarding the assistance programs, businesses can quickly contact DEV at  sae@developpementvs.com.