MONTREAL -- The City of Montreal says the measures it put in place to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic are working.

Plateau Mayor Luc Rabouin, who holds the economic development portfolio on city council, said in particular, the $3 million emergency fund that provides grants of up to $10,000 has been a success. The fund was created to help small business adapt to new pandemic regulations, maintain employees and improve their website offerings. 

“After just a few weeks, 82 businesses have already benefited from this grant," Rabouin said. "In all, nearly $1 million -- or 30 per cent of the envelope -- was distributed in this way... I invite Montreal SMEs that have not yet requested this financial assistance to do so.”

Rabouin also said to date, $32 million in emergency loans have been distributed to Montreal businesses. The loans are part of a $60 million envelope the province put in place for SMEs within the metropolis. 

“So there’s still money available,” Rabouin said. 

There is a six-month interest moratorium on the loans, after which businesses pay three per cent over a period of 36 months. 

Rabouin says other measures have been helpful for the city’s SMEs including a business line (514-872-7802) for entrepreneurs who want to know what kind of financial aid is available to their business, an urban delivery service, free advice for businesses to transition to online sales, municipal tax postponements, and an emergency financial assistance fund. 

This is a developping story that will be updated.