It’s time for other municipalities to follow suit, says CFIB
Montreal, November 14, 2018 – Businesses in Montreal are the first in the country to be compensated for the negative impacts of major roadwork. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is pleased with details of the City of Montreal’s $25 million financial assistance program for business owners which were announced today. CFIB invites other municipalities in Canada to take inspiration from Montreal’s program and provide relief for businesses hurt by roadwork.
“Of all the municipalities in the country that we challenged to compensate businesses affected by construction, Montreal is the first – and so far the only – city to have risen to the challenge,” said Simon Gaudreault, CFIB senior director of national research. “We congratulate the city for its leadership on this issue. This announcement shows that Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante and her administration are listening to small businesses and their concerns about the impacts of construction projects on their operations and bottom lines.”
A straightforward and accessible application process
Montreal’s financial assistance program will provide a welcome reprieve for businesses located in a major construction zone. CFIB is especially pleased with the following provisions:
- Financial losses will be reimbursed at 85 per cent, up to a yearly maximum of $30,000.
- The program will be retroactive to January 1, 2016.
- Businesses will just have to submit their tax returns and their GST/QST reports to access the financial assistance.
- Businesses can submit their applications electronically.
“Small businesses often struggle to apply for this kind of government aid because they don’t have the resources to fill out all the paperwork and meet all the requirements,” added Gaudreault. “We’re glad to see that the city has put in place a process that seems more simple and straightforward than what was announced in June. We’ll be working with the city to ensure the success of the program for small business owners.”
A challenge for all Canadian municipalities
According to a recent CFIB report, two out of five small businesses in Canada were disrupted by construction over the past five years. Overall, 65,000 businesses in Canada have been severely impacted by roadwork. As a result, CFIB challenged municipalities across the country to establish a policy to reduce the negative impacts of construction by instituting:
- A compensation program
- A “no surprise” rule
- A comprehensive planning approach
- An improved contracting process
- A dedicated business liaison officer
“Montreal is not the only place where roadwork affects businesses. Small businesses throughout the country need their elected municipal officials to show leadership and take action on this matter. We encourage all municipalities to follow Montreal’s example and set up a support program for their small and medium-sized businesses. We are eager to congratulate the next municipality that moves forward in this direction,” concluded Gaudreault.
For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca.