Small traders on the precipice

The COVID-19 crisis has greatly affected the consumer sector, as nearly one in six small or medium-sized businesses in Quebec is in danger. Between 18,000 and 30,000 SMEs find themselves on the edge of the precipice.

This is the case, among others, for jewelry stores and clothing and shoe stores, which highlights the importance of buying locally this year. However, only one in three Quebecers buys locally.

“The holiday season is going to be the most important and that consumer choice will really make a difference,” explained François Vincent, vice-president, Quebec, of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). .

Vincent said he felt a wave to encourage local buying, but he said the data would not necessarily reflect this “craze”.

“I really invite all Quebecers to make a difference,” he added. Every dollar is going to have an impact for a small business. ”

For those who prefer to shop online, it’s still possible to buy from a local retailer.

“We launched the major campaign which lists all the initiatives that exist to find your business, your small local business,” explained François Vincent.

The Government of Quebec’s Emergency Assistance to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises program established in the context of the pandemic remains an attractive option for merchants who see red.

In an interview with TVA Nouvelles, the Minister of the Economy Pierre Fitzgibbon encouraged the owners of SMEs in difficulty to resort to assistance in the form of loans of up to $ 50,000, of which $ 15,000 will be subsidized. despite the general delays in granting aid.

“I will tell them [aux demandeurs] to be tolerant. There was some imperfection at the start, once again we are talking about 30,000 potential requests. I also ask to be patient, but the money is there. With my colleague Mr. Girard [ministre des Finances], we do not want to slip away, we want to support the fixed costs, ”said Mr. Fitzgibbon.

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