Vaudreuil-Dorion provides economic assistance for businesses
By John Jantak
PHOTO COURTESY SHUTTERSTOCK
Small business owners in Vaudreuil-Dorion are getting an extra helping financial hand to weather some of the economic hardships endured during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City of Vaudreuil-Dorion has contributed $250,000 to an aid fund intended to support businesses in its territory. The municipal aid fund, also known by its French acronym FAME (Fonds d’aide municipale pour les entreprises) demonstrates the city council’s commitment to contribute directly to the continuing economic development of its business community and provide economic relief to owners affected by the pandemic.
This initiative by city council follows a decision by the provincial government to provide $800 million to municipalities to cover additional costs and loss of income caused by COVID-19. This money can also be used by municipalities to play an active role in reviving the economy.
Jöel Lessard, Portfolio and Business Development Manager for Développement (DEV) Vaudreuil-Soulanges, said the organization is pleased with the financial commitment which will help bring relief to struggling business owners within the city.
The funds are necessary to provide a lifeline to enterprises which have been hit hard by the lockdown and curfew which has seriously affected their ability to continue to operate normally. Lessard said the financial contribution made by the city will help to provide additional breathing room which will help owners who didn’t qualify for either federal or provincial financial assistance.
“It’s a major commitment by the city,” said Lessard. “This is the best way for small business owners to get money that they are unable to get any other way. Part of the money they will receive will be in the form of a grant and the remainder will be a loan.”
The funds will be channeled to businesses related to retail trade, restaurants and food services, local agriculture producers and food processors, service companies and tourism outlets, including accommodation sites. “Our desire is to adapt to our economic reality and contribute to companies whose citizens are in great need,” said Mayor Guy Pilon.
Important economic hub
Loans valued between $5,000 and $25,000 will be supplemented with non-repayable assistance equivalent to 20 per cent of the loan amount. The remainder will have to be repaid within a five-year period with an interest rate of three per cent. A loan repayment moratorium is offered for the first six months to take into account the revival of regular activities.
“These loans will help small businesses who have been unable to receive federal or provincial assistance through their economic relief programs. We received funds from different sources including the government to provide financial relief to owners in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region,” said Lessard.
The financial aid being provided by the city to help revive its struggling business community is important because Vaudreuil-Dorion is one of the major economic hubs within the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region, said Lessard. Other major municipalities that require financial assistance for their stores and restaurants include Saint-Lazare, Hudson and the four cities on l’Île-Perrot.
DEV provides their services to entrepreneurs and small business owners within the 23 municipalities that comprise the MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges. For more information regarding its financial assistance program, visit the DEV website and click on the Economic Measures tab at developpementvs.com/en/covid-19/.