RIMOUSKI – While the Bas-Saint-Laurent is preparing a déconfinement gradual, the Corporation de promotion économique de Rimouski (SOPER) introduces measures of distance-physical, which will guide the companies to their re-opening.
Although the restart of the economy is always expected, some local businesses are beginning to offer their services.
“In the store, it follows the rule of two meters, and disinfects his hands by entering. If everyone applies it in our shops here in the area, I don’t see why all the world could not reopen,” said René Bérubé, co-owner of a Bike outdoors.
In the middle of the restoration, although some offer orders for take away and a delivery service, the closure of the dining rooms since the beginning of the crisis has had a strong impact on sales figures. Some contractors in the region speak of a decrease of 50% to 70% of their economic activities. For others, it is even worse.
“My sales have dropped about 90%. In addition, I’m all alone to work,” said the owner of the restaurant Scent of Korea, Migyen Kim.
According to data collected by the City of Rimouski, $ 600 million are spent annually by citizens in the shops of the region. About 700 million more from the citizens of peripheral regions, for total revenues of $ 1.3 billion.
Since the control points may be maintained for a certain time, the restart of the economy must begin locally. In this regard, the support of citizens takes on a capital importance.
“We really see that people are encouraging regional businesses because we have lots of new customers, new phone numbers that appear on our computer systems that we had never seen,” said Yan Winged, co-owner of the sushi restaurant Yin Yan.
“Go see these people that have beautiful initiatives. It is not only limited to restaurants. There are plenty of traders who respect the rules of distancing physical,” said the mayor of the City of Rimouski, Marc Parent.
The SOPER has received around 200 applications from companies two weeks for financial assistance, totaling nearly $ 200 million investment. While some companies will resume the service with new measures that could be put in place next week, others with issues of liquidity more important will have to wait and do not open at a loss, with a smaller portion of their customer base.
“The challenge of déconfinement, regardless of the sector of activity, will still be very large. It takes a lot of efforts to do the recovery,” said president and general manager of the SOPER, Martin Beaulieu.
Until now, no company takes care of the SOPER has not declared bankruptcy because of the crisis of the COVID-19. Remains to be seen when the government Legault will give the green light to begin the déconfinement.