MONTREAL -- The City of Montreal announced Thursday that it will shell out an additional $50 million for medium and small businesses struggling to survive during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city has received $70 million from the Quebec government for its emergency assistance program in 2020, which the city said was "practically exhausted at the end of the year."

The new envelope of cash from Quebec will help continue assisting businesses until the end of April, the city said.

“In a context of economic difficulties, the continuity of the emergency aid program for SMEs is crucial," said Luc Rabouin, the city councillor on the economic and commercial development file. "With the second lockdown, our businesses need this extended financial helping hand. These sums will allow them to have quick access to liquidity, one of the critical elements for the survival of many businesses."

For more information on how to apply for funds, visit the PME MTL website.

“Montreal plays a leading role in the Quebec economy and, currently, many of its companies are going through difficult times because of the pandemic," said Quebec Minister of the Economy and Innovation Pierre Fitzgibbon. "We want to support them, as we have done since the start of the crisis. The financial improvement that we are announcing today for businesses in the metropolis will allow us to continue our commitment to our business communities and to adjust the support we offer them according to the real needs of our entrepreneurs."

Non-essential businesses have been ordered close on the island, and those affected by the closure can now apply for a loan up to a maximum of $50,000.

The city is also granting a four-month moratorium on principle interest on top of the three-month moratorium already in place.

"Businesses affected by a shutdown order under the Public Health Act will be able to have up to the equivalent of 80 per cent of the funding awarded converted into a grant for a maximum of $40,000 per $50,000 loan," the release reads.