Montreal borough funding unique and diverse businesses with $100,000 program
MONTREAL -- Montreal's Southwest borough wants to bring new and unique businesses to the area, and is hoping $100,000 will help do that.
Local book shop Librarie Saint Henri is one of those that took advantage, and owner Alex Nierenhausen said the $10,000 he received went a long way.
“We were able to set up an entire online shop, deliveries, hire a driver for deliveries at least bi-weekly," he said. "At a certain point, we were sending books out faster than Amazon Prime could!”
The grant was part of the borough's Commercial Diversity Program, which is aimed at bringing an assortment of unique businesses to the area.
So far, the program has created 80 new jobs.
“It’s all about community giveback and what we can do and make our voices heard in the community and marginalized voices in the community,” said Nierenhausen.
The borough announced that 10 new businesses are now eligible for the same grant.
“It will help revive the economy of the Southwest and improve the quality of life for our residents in six neighbourhoods," said borough mayor Benoit Dorais.
The main criteria are that the businesses be new and bring diversity to the area.
“Barbershop, yoga studio, cafe, garments boutique, if it’s different that’s what we want," said Dorais. "We want different businesses opening in our neighbourhoods.”
City councillor Craig Sauve said the $100,000 investment is a sizable amount.
“It’s something our residents have been asking for for a long time so we’ve been moving towards this program," said Sauve. "Now this is another phase we’re announcing today."
The COVID-19 pandemic forced a lot of businesses to shut their doors and Sauve said he wants to help local entrepreneurs get back on their feet.
“There are a lot of innovators out there that need a little bit of help to start up, and this is a really good program to do so,” said Sauve.