MONTREAL -- Businesses and organizations are working together to stimulate the local economy in Quebec as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The On Se Serre Les Coudes initiative aims to help local Quebec businesses get through the crisis, while showcasing the variety and quality of products made in the province.

The 19 companies and organizations involved also bought advertising space exclusively from Quebec media sources, which are also suffering from the effects of the pandemic.

On March 19, Quebec Premier François Legault announced a $2.5 billion plan to help businesses and support the economy, which has been hard hit by COVID-19.

He also encouraged Quebecers to think local for the next few months, saying it is essential for the maximum number of businesses to survive the crisis if Quebec wants to thrive in the aftermath.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2020.