---City dedicates $700,000 towards economic recovery
On April 12, Gatineau’s municipal council approved a $700,000 investment to local entrepreneurial organizations dedicated to helping revitalize the city’s economic arteries and encourage residents to support small businesses. According to a press release issued on April 13, the funding is focused on boosting the vitality of Gatineau’s business sectors that have been most severely impacted by the pandemic. The funds will be used to finance the development of ephemeral event spaces to accommodate various types of programming and entertainment on commercial arteries.
Signing an agreement with Gatineau’s five entrepreneurial organizations, the funds will go to:
-The Aylmer Associations of Professionals, Industrials, and Merchants (APICA), $100,000;
-Vision Centre-ville, $200,000;
-L’Association des gens d’affaires et professionnels du Vieux-Gatineau, $150,000 (with $50,000 reported from last year);
-L’association de commercants Cartier-Gréber, $150,000 (with $50,000 reported from last year);
-Le Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la Basse-Lièvre, $100,000;
The funding comes from the Fonds de soutien à l’animation et la revitalisation, noting that financial arrangement will be completed using government financial aid related to Covid-19. Delighted to receive financial aid at a time when businesses are in a considerably tough spot, APICA’s Director General Nathalie Rodrigue told the Aylmer Bulletin the investment was very positive for the entire sector. “It’s comforting to know we have that funding to help them,” Rodrigue said, noting that APICA received $100,000 from the city last spring also for economic recovery. “We knew that businesses need us, maybe even more this year.”
Required to submit plans to the city as to what the money will be particularly used for, Rodrigue said the priority will be impacting businesses in all parts of Aylmer. Hoping to help businesses thrive in Aylmer despite the current circumstances, Lucerne district councillor Gilles Chagnon said he’s happy to see the city stepping up to the plate. “We need to invest,” Chagnon said. “We need to help our restauranteurs and also hold activities and I think the city has a role to play.”
While the city’s funds and its ability to support local business are limited, Deschênes district councillor Mike Duggan said the funding is needed because it will benefit local businesses at a time when they need it the most. “We’re trying to generate economic activity despite all the Covid craziness,” Duggan said. “Those businesses are paying property taxes … and we should be giving that money back because they’re not making much during the pandemic. It’s an important investment in our community.”
For 2020-2021, the city stated to have dedicated $500,000 to local entrepreneurial organizations. Recognizing the role of entrepreneurial organizations in benefitting local businesses and revitalizing economic sectors, President of Gatineau’s Executive committee and Hull-Wright district councillor Cédric Tessier said it’s very important to give them the support they need to fulfill their mandates. “In the context of Covid-19, the city looks to support business owners by allowing them to adapt their offer of services,” Tessier said in the press release.