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Help for bars and restaurants

Still in shock, restaurant and bar owners consider the aid of Quebec, which reimburses 80% of their fixed costs up to $ 15,000 for the month of October, as a & # 39; serious blow & # 39 ;. inch ”. However, this contribution will not save everyone and will not prevent a large number of branches from closing in the coming year, they say.

Posted Oct 2, 2020 at 6:00 am.

Nathaëlle Morissette
La Presse

"Even if we have to pay 20% of the fixed costs, we are aware that there will be closures," said Pierre Thibault, founder and president of the Nouvelle Association des bars du Québec (NABQ), which has 200 members counts. In an ideal world, we would have liked to receive 100% of the refunds because they have just forced us to close. We are going to experience the first wave of restaurant and bar closings that we have been planning for a long time in my opinion. "

According to François Meunier, vice president of public and government affairs of the Association Restauration Québec (ARQ), the various government programs must be maintained for as long as possible to avoid" carnage. "There were 900 restaurant failures in Quebec in 1992, when sales were down 18%, "he recalls. We are currently down 34% there."

"I have no doubt that in the next year there will probably be several hundred, if not a few. will be thousands of restaurants that will close their doors.

Remember that the Legault government ordered the closure of bars and restaurants in the red zone (Montreal, Quebec and Chaudière-Appalaches) until October 28.

PHOTO PATRICK SANFAÇON , ARCHIVES LA PRESSE

Martin Juneau, Pastaga's chief

They broke the pot and he fixes it afterwards. The truth is it leaves its mark. We just happen to be a little scared.

Martin Juneau, head from Pastaga

Despite everything, most industry players acknowledged that this aid, announced Thursday by the Minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, would be welcome. "It certainly gives us a break," agrees Martin Juneau. It gives us time to take a deep breath and go back to get food. "

" A great effort has been made by Quebec, admits Pierre Thibault. We appreciate that the government has been very proactive. People wondering if they could continue are ready and can make the decision. If you get into debt from March and you stay in debt, once you arrive in October, it can be difficult to pay the 20% extra debt, ”he says. while at the same time adding that some bars and restaurants pay up to $ 50,000 in rent in Montreal.

"We don't think we will be able to save everyone," admits François Meunier. But it will give a serious boost. It's still a generous program, mainly because it's extensible. "

The status quo

Several of the restaurateurs interviewed believe that Quebec's help will help them get through this month of uncertainty. "It will help maintain the status quo," said François Nadon, co-owner of Bouillon Bilk and Cadet, two restaurants in downtown Montreal. It's still quite interesting, ”he said, adding that the financial health of his two branches is pretty good. The only downside: he and his business partner have to keep postponing the opening of a third restaurant, which was first planned for last spring and beyond. It remains to be seen if they can deliver on their plans by the end of the year.

In Quebec City, Thania Goyette, co-owner of Le Pied Bleu and Le Renard et la Chouette, bluntly said she "would take what the government gives". & # 39; We'll figure it out. She says their charcuterie production, which can be found in three outlets, will help keep them afloat.

Jean Bédard, president of Sportscène, a group that manages La Cage – Brasserie sportive, had to close 20 restaurants. He welcomes help from Quebec.

People recognize the importance of recovery. I don't think we'll stay closed for nothing.

Jean Bédard, President of Sportscène

The measures were also well received by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and the Federation of Chambers de commerce du Québec (FCCQ).

David McMillan, owner of the famous Joe Beef, however, does not share the same optimism. & # 39; It's really minimal, [ce qu’on a reçu]. We became beggars. We take what people give us. "

Measurements in a few lines

Nearly 100 million in cash

Quebec is creating a new utility for about 12,000 companies that have to close their doors because they are located in the red zone. For the month of October, Quebec will reimburse 80% of their rent, taxes and other fixed costs, up to a maximum of $ 15,000. This program will cost Quebec nearly 100 million euros for the month of October, estimates the Minister of Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon.

Help get through the month

Minister Fitzgibbon announced the creation of a new component of the Temporary Coordinated Action Program for Enterprises (PACTE) and of the Emergency Response Program for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (PAUPME) to "close down companies that will receive revenue. losses from obtaining non-refundable help to pay their fixed costs. ”Eligible expenses include“ city and school taxes, rent, interest paid on mortgage loans […]electricity and gas, insurance, telecommunication costs, and permits and association fees ", said the minister.

A discount of up to $ 15,000

Companies "will be able to get a discount on their loans of up to $ 15,000 for the month of October," explained Fitzgibbon. This pardon will offset certain fixed costs that these companies will have to bear, even if they have had to stop their activities ”.

In the red zone

These new support measures will be available to all businesses targeted for total or partial closures in the red zones that have been declared by the government and are currently limited to Greater Montreal, as well as part of the region & # 39 s. of the Capitale-Nationale and Chaudière-Appalaches. Minister Fitzgibbon recalled on Thursday that some companies must close for 28 days to "avoid a return to more general containment". “All restaurants in the red zone are eligible, even those offering delivery or takeout services. "

Written by Rahis

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