The AERAM is a program intended to help businesses that had to halt their operations due to a closure order. The AERAM does not provide additional financing, but it allows you to deduct your eligible fixed expenses from the balance of a PAUPME or PACTE loan granted after December 20. The government calls this “loan forgiveness”.
Loan forgiveness can be 100% of the eligible fixed expenses, up to $15,000 per month, and cannot exceed 80% of the loan amount.
For example, for a $50,000 loan, the AERAM allows you to deduct up to $40,000 in eligible fixed expenses. This means you would only have to repay $10,000.
Restaurants are eligible for an additional loan forgiveness of up to $10,000 per establishment to cover the costs of unused perishable items. Eligible costs must be incurred between December 15 and 30, 2021.
The only expenses eligible under the AERAM are:
- municipal and school taxes;
- rent (the portion not covered by another government program);
- interest paid on mortgage loans;
- expenses related to public services such as electricity and gas;
- telecommunications expenses;
- licensing and association fees.
How do I qualify for the Assistance for Businesses in Regions on Maximum Alert (AERAM)?
You must have received a loan under one of the following programs after December 20:
- Concerted Temporary Action Program for Businesses (PACTE)
- Emergency Assistance Program for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (PAUPME)
Your business must also:
- be subject to a closure order to protect the health of the population during the COVID-19 pandemic;
- have halted all or part of its activities in accordance with an Order-in-Council or a Ministerial Order for a period of at least seven days in a given month.
Additionally, your application under the AERAM must be received no later than four weeks after the resumption of your operations.
If you already applied for a loan at the start of the pandemic, this loan is unfortunately not eligible for the AERAM. To be eligible for loan forgiveness, you must apply for a new loan. This new loan can help you repay the first loan.
For more details or for information on how to submit an application, visit the Government of Quebec webpage.
If you have not yet applied for financial assistance from the Government of Quebec, here are the two programs that give access to the Assistance for Businesses in Regions on Maximum Alert (AERAM):
Emergency Assistance Program for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (PAUPME)
This program allows businesses with liquidity needs to apply for a loan of $50,000 or less.
To be eligible, the business must:
- have operated in Quebec for at least six months;
- be closed temporarily, liable to close or display early warning signs of closing;
- be in the process of maintaining, consolidating or reviving its activities;
- have demonstrated a causal link between its financial or operational problems and the COVID-19 pandemic.
To apply for the PAUPME, you must contact your RCM.
For more information and contact information for your RCM: Emergency Assistance for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
Concerted Temporary Action Program for Businesses (PACTE)
This program allows businesses in need of liquidity to apply for a loan of more than $50,000.
To be eligible, businesses must:
- be located in Quebec;
- be in a precarious situation because of COVID-19;
- demonstrate that their financial structure allows for the prospect of profitability;
- demonstrate that they are not under the protection of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act or the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
To apply for the PACTE, if you are already a client of Investissement Québec, you must contact your account manager. Otherwise, you can contact the Investissement Québec call centre at 1-844-474-6367.
For more information: Concerted Temporary Action Program for Businesses.