Desjardins: more than$ 160 Million to support the revival of the economy

In order to support the revival of the economy, both from a social point of view for companies, Desjardins set up two new funds, which the budget will reach a total of$ 160 Million.

As of Thursday, small businesses and organizations can make a request through their caisse to obtain a financial boost.

The Funds of a Large Movement, with an envelope of$ 150 Million, is the new version of the fund of$ 100 Million which had been launched in 2016 by the financial institution. It has supported approximately 450 projects in the regions.

With this money, the cooperative now wishes to propel social and economic, which relate to “the employment, economic vitality, education and the environment”. Each caisse in Quebec and Ontario will be responsible for the management of its budget, which will vary according to the regions.

“We want to be able to support the revival of the company. It is our intention to keep the organizations and companies in health. We want to stimulate the circles. We don’t want to be a substitute for government action” said Guy Cormier, president and chief executive officer.

The investment is expected to extend until 2024. Desjardins wants to also, “another phase”, to involve more of its members. They can submit projects.

Help for sanitary

The second fund launched by the co-operative Levis aims to help businesses improve their productivity over the next two years, or to mitigate their invoice in respect of the new health measures as necessary to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

The Fund program C will have an envelope of$ 10 Million and financial assistance may reach up to $ 10,000 per company.

“This is not a loan, it is a gift. It is really to help businesses get through,” notes Dr. Cormier. “We’re not in the big international corporations, we are in the economic fabric of quebec, is the SMES”, he adds.

Desjardins states that his organization will fund 25% of the invoice for digitization projects, purchase of equipment, transformation of a business model, market development, programs of psychological support or for the installation of security measures.

Companies that want to take advantage of this initiative should contact their centre Desjardins Entreprises.

Other measures

To encourage local innovation in the post-crisis, Desjardins, in partnership with Google and Hello Startup Montreal, also runs through the province, a contest in which participants will have the objective of developing solutions or socioeconomic projects in three categories, that is, employment, health and education.

The adventure will take place from 1st may to 2 June.

In addition, the co-op is associated with the platform sociofinancement The Hive in the framework of the program “From heart to purchase, encouraged by Desjardins” to bring forward the local purchase. The financial institution of Lévis will inject$ 1 Million.

In fact, when consumers will purchase gift certificates from local businesses, or make donations in the context of campaign financing, Desjardins will donate a sum equivalent to local organizations, up to a maximum of$ 25,000.

Six questions for Mr. Cormier

Q: In connection with the announcement of the plan to relaunch the Quebec city, Tuesday, is that Desjardins will re-open again the whole of its network?

A: Currently, we have approximately 330 points of service opened in Ontario and Quebec. Approximately 85% of our employees (47 000) are already in telecommuting. Members can communicate with us. We look at different scenarios, including a gradual return to normal. With 85% of our employees telework, is that there is an urgent need to bring everyone in our local community? I think it might be irresponsible to do so in a short period of time.

Q: Is the containment of the population and the COVID-19 will have an impact on the transition to digital business?

R: there are fundamentals that are beginning to emerge. For the past five weeks, we have observed an increase of 20% to 25% of the automation of transactions. We see a significant increase in direct deposits and paying bills remotely. There are elements that will remain. Yes, this is going to accelerate the digital transformation.

Q: Is that this crisis will accelerate the disappearance of the money? Several businesses have announced in recent weeks, that they accept only credit cards or debit.

R: today, between 20% and 25% of transactions are with cash. There are still companies that work with the currency. Is it that, in the long term, this percentage will decrease? Yes. Is it going to accelerate? It is not clear to me. However, probably that, yes, people / companies will change their behavior.

Q: Is there plans to extend the deadlines for the various relief measures announced by Desjardins over the past few weeks?

A: Currently, for our insurance activities and banking, we had more than 500 000 requests for relief. In mid-June, we will see what is the state of the economic and social recovery. If there are adjustments to be made, we will make them.

Q: What do you think of the plan to relaunch the quebec economy?

R: These are reflections very measured and thoughtful. I am reassured to see the ministry of the Economy, Employment, public health and the CNESST at the same table to find the best solutions. The gradient wipe of the plan reassures me also. It is a good balance.

Q: After this crisis, is that Canada should be more self-sufficient?

R: When I look at the economy of Canada, it is clear that he was going to have to rethink the concept of self-sufficiency of our supply chains. There are some areas of activity where people are going to want to be much more self-sufficient. One can think of health and nutrition. It is necessary to attach great importance to this dimension during the revival.

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