In just a month, it is more than a billion dollars in loans guaranteed by the governments that have been granted to some 40 000 québec businesses which lack liquidity.
“There is over a billion dollars in assistance so far, that’s for sure. The needs are enormous, obviously, ” says the quebec minister of the Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, in interview to the Newspaper.
On 19 march, Quebec announced the PACT, which aims to guarantee up to $ 2.5 billion of loans to businesses by commercial banks.
This is in addition to the federal program that allows SMES to receive an emergency loan of $ 40,000, the local investment Fund of $ 150 million put in place by Quebec, loans from the business development Bank of Canada and loan guarantees from Export development Canada.
With all these measures, “I’m pretty comfortable saying that we will be able to support most of the SMES in the Québec level of liquidity,” said Mr. Fitzgibbon.
“It is sure that there will be exceptions, and that businesses will not pass through, but this will probably be the ones who had problems before the COVID-19 “, he adds.
Investissement Québec has carried out a dozen loans up here. This is only the beginning.
“Obviously, the big issues require more analysis. But in general, larger companies have more leeway to address short-term, ” says the minister.
“That’s all going to be how much ? I don’t know. It could end up to three or four billion dollars easily. But as we speak primarily of loan guarantees for businesses that will become profitable, and this is not money lost. ”
Prepare the recovery
Pierre Fitzgibbon has devoted the major portion of his time to prepare the recovery. When he has the green light of the public health, he intends to prioritize three sectors : construction, export businesses, and the retail trade.
“Major construction of public infrastructure will compensate for work that the private will may be see,” noted the minister.
Core businesses : “we have been tolerant”
If it was to do over again, would you choose the same key sectors ?
It has been tolerant. The Department has made the exercise of judgment. We have been sensitive to the demands of the businesses that have competitors that are open in other States. And if Rio Tinto or Airbus had closed completely, there would have been an issue of re-opening very long. In these cases, it has been said that it was necessary that the production is minimal, and that the rules of the public health are met. […] Another phenomenon, that is the injustice, perhaps, to have allowed for people to go to Walmart and purchase a non-essential, which will be detrimental to the businesses that had to close down. The decision taken by the public health, and I support it, it was that there probably would have been a little bit of social tension if they had put yellow ribbons in the aisles at Walmart to block the products are not essential.
It explores how to re-open the economy gradually correcting, possibly, some of the injustices.
Will it require the wearing of masks in certain areas ?
How are you going to do in the areas of plants, where the reconciliations are required ? Is it the reconciliation of short-term are going to be allowed ? I don’t have the answers. The CNESST going to write these standards with the public health. It will have to be clear, otherwise it will be anarchy.
Would it not be better that the Circus of the Sun is at the shelter from its creditors, given its heavy debt ?
It is possible. And I can tell you that there are many companies that consider such protection. And honestly, this is not necessarily problematic. The key is that companies organise themselves in advance with funders such as governments.
Could you help Bombardier ?
It is 12 000 employees in Quebec. I have discussions at a very high level. Bombardier, for me, it is a jewel and it is necessary to ensure that it is in life. We will see how to do it. There are a lot of solutions currently that are considered.