Using the City of Quebec is as “a balm” on the restorers, who will save hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on their licenses terraces.
The reduction in the licence fees of the terraces has been greeted with relief by the restaurateurs, who are going through difficult times, with the closure of their shops for weeks.
The mayor of Québec, Régis Labeaume, announced on Monday that the permits would cost this summer 50 $ only, instead of about $ 3,300 on average.
“It puts a balm on our misfortunes,” said the vice-president of public and governmental affairs of the Association Restoration Québec (ARQ), François Meunier.
“It’s a very, very good news, I’m really happy”, expresses Yanick Parent, owner of four restaurants in the Old city, including The Donation of the Restaurant, for which he pays, in normal times, $ 5000 for a permit to terrace. For him, the savings this year thus stood in thousands of dollars.
A welcome help, he says, so there is considerable uncertainty for the future.
The summer months are always the most profitable, he adds, and overcome the lows of November and after the Holidays. “If you don’t have a good summer, it is winter that is coming and it will be extremely difficult to live with.”
Méziane Moulfi, owner of Two Violins, in Montcalm, was also apprehensive for the future and finds the time long. Used to work 8 to 10 hours per day, it is found that the confinement plays on the morale”.
It welcomes the assistance provided by the City, amounting to several hundred dollars for it. “We have no other choice than to pay [the licence of the terrace]. A gift like that, it is very appreciated from our mayor. We appreciate the gesture.”
On the road to the Church, the general manager of the Portofino, Bertrand de l’epinay, has also noticed that his colleagues restorers appreciated the gesture. “I’ve talked to several people. It is found that the mayor has done well to find measures. He had no choice, this is how the wind goes. Everyone is in solution mode. […] Everyone is relatively happy.”
The capital assigned to
François Meunier fears that the capital, with its many restaurants and its tourism industry thriving, is particularly affected. “In a city like Quebec, who is very affected by tourism performance, which is coming up, this is not very encouraging. We are in for months, and it is certain that it will weaken a lot of people in our sector.”
In the context, he believes, “it would have been cheeky to charge the full rate for terraces that are at risk of not being able to open. We are called for municipalities to provide free occupation of the public domain for this year. To $ 50, one is willing to live with it. Is it going to allow us to survive? It may not be.”
The ARQ has also asked the government, in the last few days, to give a little oxygen to its members. “Already we must deal with reports of rent or mortgage and other payments. If, in addition, the governments we constrict and emptied the little cash we have left, as well close it all away!”
And the experience of the restaurant ?
“What it will look like the experience at the restaurant at the end of the crisis? Will we be served by waiters wearing masks or will we have to go pick up the food at a counter equipped with a plexiglas? he asks. We still have a lot of thinking to do.”
The ARQ has signed an open letter with other trade associations to call for additional help. Loans, claim they are, are not sufficient. “Taking on more debt may not ensure survival. It’s going to be direct support measures, direct subsidies,” said Mr. Miller.