COVID-19 : Economic development

Last updated: August 5 at 3 PM

For more information regarding COVID-19 in Gaspesie, visit

Assistance available from the MRC of Bonaventure

The MRC of Bonaventure is keenly aware that in order to support businesses during the COVID-19 crisis concrete action is needed.

The following fact sheets have been developed to assist entrepreneurs to meet the new realities created by COVID-19.

The Quebec government has announced emergency assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which impact almost every activity sector. The MRC of Bonaventure, through its Local Investment Fund (FLI), is the intermediary of this temporary program, which allows eligible businesses to receive financial assistance of up to $50,000 in the form of a low interest loan, with moratoriums on principal and interest.

For-profit businesses, self-employed individuals, cooperatives and social economy enterprises are eligible. These entities must:

  • Have been active in Quebec for at least 1 year;
  • be temporarily closed, likely to close or show warning signs of closure;
  • be in a context of maintaining, consolidating or reviving its activities;
  • have demonstrated a cause and effect link between their financial or operational challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding provided

Funding provided must supplement operation capital for businesses experiencing liquidity constraints in connection with the current health crisis.

Consult the Business Support Policy in connection with the emergency assistance for SMEs

The deadline date to submit a project is June 4, 2020. Businesses who want to apply for this emergency assistance should contact their usual business counsellor, or François Bujold, Business Counsellor, at or at 581 357-0126.

Download the form

Please note that the Subsidy for Professional Interventions budget has reached its limit. Our team remains available to support you while alternate intervention possibilities are explored.

In partnership with the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation for the FLI or Fonds local d’investissement (Local Investment Fund) and the Fonds locaux de solidarités FTQ for the FLS or Fonds locaux de solidarité (Local Solidarity Fund), the MRC of Bonaventure wishes to support affected businesses.

In order to offer maximum support to companies impacted by this unprecedented situation, with thanks to the FLS and FLI it will be possible to offer our business clients a six-month respite for the repayment of their loan, principal and interest regardless of any previously granted moratoriums. Interest will be capitalized and added to the loan balance at the end of the moratorium. This measure will limit the pressure on companies’ liquidity to allow them to weather this period of uncertainty.

How to apply:

A business that requires this mitigation measure will be referred to their business counsellor, who will analyse their situation, update their risk assessment and decide whether the mitigation measure should be applied.

To schedule a follow up in relation to the COVID-19 crisis, contact:

François Bujold
Business Counsellor
581 357-0126

Businesses who already have an active file at the MRC of Bonaventure should contact their customary Business Counsellor.

Isabelle Bourque
Business Counsellor
581 357-0124

Sébastien Cayouette
Business Counsellor
581 357-0125

Information from the CNESST concerning deconfinement

The CISSS de la Gaspésie has set up an occupational health team to answer questions from companies that have to adapt their workplace due to COVID-19. Contact them at: 1 833 354-0009.

Government assistance

The Government of Canada has announced support for businesses and workers. The Quebec government declared a state of health emergency in order to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government of Canada

  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA): Interest free loans of up to $40,000 for small businesses and not-for-profits. It should be noted that the criteria have been reviewed since the inception of the program to broaden eligibility (learn more) ;
  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA): provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. A total of 50% of the monthly rents payable by eligible small businesses in April, May, June, July and August will be covered (learn more);
  • Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF):bridge financing for companies seeking financing greater than $60 million. Open to large for-profit businesses – with the exception of those in the financial sector – as well as certain not-for-profit businesses, such as airports (learn more) ;
  • Regional relief and recovery fund (RRRF): $211 million of funding for Quebec businesses that need additional assistance, but have not been able to access existing support measures (learn more). In Quebec, the fund is administered by the Community Futures Development Corporations (contact the SADC Baie-des-Chaleurs) or Canada Economic Development, depending on business revenues and business sector (learn which profile applies to your business);
  • Relief measures for Indigenous businesses: $306.8 million in assistance to help Aboriginal SMEs and support financial institutions that offer them financing, in the form of short-term interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions (learn more);
  • Support for innovative businesses (start-up): $250 million in assistance for innovative start-up businesses that do not have access to current support measures. Support will be provided through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (learn more);
  • Futurpreneur Canada: streamlined client payments for up to 12 months (learn more);

Government of Québec

  • Concerted temporary action program for businesses whose liquidity is affected by the repercussions of COVID-19. Financing is in the form of a loan guarantee or an Investissement Québec loan (learn more).
  • Emergency assistance program for small and medium businesses: intended to offer limited time support to eligible businesses that are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19 and require less than $50,000 in cash. learn more (English link not available)

Government of Canada

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) : a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks for up to 24 weeks for workers who have had to stop working or whose hours of work were reduced as a result of  COVID-19 (learn more);
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS): Wage subsidy at a maximum rate of 75% for eligible businesses, including not-for-profit organizations, to help businesses retain or hire workers. The grant is extended until August 29, 2020 and is extended to different groups (learn more);
  • Work-Sharing Program – Temporary special measures for the forestry and steel and aluminum sector: measures for employers affected by the slowdown in activities due to COVID-19 (learn more);
  • Changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program: increase in wage subsidy (up to 100%), extension of termination date (until February 28, 2021) and permission to hire part-time staff (learn more);

Government of Québec

  • Incentive program to retain essential workers (IPREW): financial assistance program for individuals working essential jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The assistance amount will make up the difference between the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and an eligible individual’s wages (learn more).

Government of Canada

  • Extended filing and payment deadlines from the Canada Revenue Agency (learn more);
  • Modification of the Bank of Canada’s policies: Implementation of multiple actions to support the national economy and financial system through the COVID-19 crisis (learn more)
  • Extended income tax payment deadlines: The CRA is further extending the payment due date for 2019 individual tax returns and 2019 or 2020 corporation, or trust returns, as well as for instalment payments, from September 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020. (learn more).

Government of Québec

  • Relief measure regarding the payment of annual registration fees with the registraire des entreprises du Québec : extended to September 1, 2020 (learn more) ;
  • Adjustment to the calculation of employee remunerated hours: deduction for small businesses (learn more).

Government of Québec

  • Tourism component of the Concerted temporary action program for businesses (PACTE) : $446 million for the creation of an emergency component for lodging establishments and tourist attractions admissible to the PACTE program. (learn more):
    • There is no minimum financial assistance amount.
    • Principal repayment is deferred for up to 24 months, and interest can be capitalized over a period of up to 24 months.
    • Amortization: up to 60 months (excluding the principal and interest deferral periods)
    • Businesses must show that they are able to return to profitability in the medium term.
    • The loan is eligible for partial write-off, as follows: 25% of the total amount (principal and interest) paid off by the end of the 48th month (from the time repayment begins) can be written off, up to a maximum of $100,000 per tourist establishment or attraction.
  • Business travel support for the hotel sector: $200 million in support funds for business travel investments in hotels. (learn more, English link not available) :
    • This is a new component of the Support Program for the Development of Tourist Attractions (PADAT), with a residual envelope of $48 million, which will make it possible to obtain loans covering up to 80% of eligible expenses for projects with a minimum cost of $125,000.
  • Enhancement of regional tourism partnership agreements: $25 million in funding (learn more: English link not available)
  • Accommodation tax grant: a subsidy equivalent to the amount of the tax on tourist accommodation that hotels and bed and breakfasts will have paid for the first quarter of the year 2020.

Agricultural and agri-food priorities of the Gaspé Peninsula

  • Measures to support the Gaspé Peninsula’s agricultural and agri-food priorities:A sectoral agreement to support the agricultural and agri-food priorities of the Gaspésie (2019-2023) was signed by various partners on March 31, 2020. This agreement has made it possible to define and implement assistance measures to support the development of Gaspesian businesses in the agriculture and agri-food sector, while complementing alternate existing government programs.

Government of Canada

  • Fish harvester benefit: Aid for fishermen whose fishing income will have decreased by more than 25% during the 2020 tax year, compared to a reference period to be determined. (details coming soon);
  • Fish harvester grant: Non-repayable assistance of up to $10,000 (according to income history) for self-employed fishermen with a valid fishing license (details coming soon);
  • AgriInsurance Program: a federal-provincial-producer cost-shared program that stabilizes a producer’s income by minimizing the economic effects of production losses caused by severe but uncontrollable natural hazards. (learn more);
  • AgriStability Program: AgriStability is a margin based program designed to help producers manage large income declines for reasons such as production loss, increased costs and market conditions. Producers may receive a payment if their production margin in the current year falls below the historical reference margin by more than 30% (learn more);
  • Payment deferrals and credit line program for producers, agribusinesses and food processors: Farm Credit Canada COVID-19 relief program (learn more);
  • Facilitation of access to personal protective equipment (PPE) for the agricultural sector: Emergency fund of $77.5 million to help food producers access more PPE, adapt to health protocols and to automate or modernize their facilities, processes and operations. (details coming soon)

Government of Québec

  • Recruitment support for agricultural labourers: Investment of $45 million to recruit Quebec agricultural workers, offering a premium of $100 for seasonal agricultural workers for a minimum 25 hour work week (learn more here and here; English links not available)

Government of Canada

  • Support for culture, heritage and sport sectors: The $500 million Emergency Support Fund provides additional temporary relief to support cultural, heritage and sport organizations and help them plan for the future. (learn more) ;
  • Emergency Community Support Fund: $350 million to improve the ability of community organizations to serve vulnerable Canadians during the COVID-19 crisis.(learn more). It is recommended that you contact the COVID-19 Baie-des-Chaleurs/Les Plateaux crisis unit for any request related to the community component, in order to obtain assistance in finding the most appropriate source of funding. (learn more).

Government of Québec

  • Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec : 
    • A call for projects in the performing and multidisciplinary arts to provide the means to pursue creative endeavours and advance projects. (learn more)
    • Grant program for artists: Redesigned funding program intended for artists, writers and independent curators (learn more)

Government of Canada

  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP): more than $ 22.5 billion in additional support for small and medium-sized businesses, through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) (learn more). Contact EDC at 1-800-229-0575 phone number on your site does not match their site phone number or via their online form.
  • Increase in funding available from the BDC: loans for SMEs, working capital loans and financing of purchase orders (learn more). For BDC customers, contact your account manager. Others may contact 1 877 232-2269 or submit an online request.

How to keep informed

Both Federal and Provincial governments have created a webpage regrouping all available interventions and programs: