COVID-19 : Economic development

Last updated: June 11 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 $85 billion of support for businesses and workers, as well as $107 billion for the liquidity of families and workers. The Quebec government, for its part, declared a state of health emergency on March 14, 2020 in order to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

A sectoral agreement to support the agricultural and agrifood priorities of the Gaspé Peninsula 2019-2023 was signed by its various partners on March 31, 2020. This agreement made it possible to define and implement assistance measures in support of the development of the sector and agricultural and agrifood businesses in the Gaspé Peninsula, in addition to existing government programs.

For application forms, for filing periods or for more information, visit the Gaspésie Gourmande website.

The partners in the sectoral agreement that made it possible to implement the various measures of SPAAG are the following: the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ), the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and ‘Habitation (MAMH), the five MRCs of Gaspésie, the Federation of the UPA of Gaspésie-Les Îles and Gaspésie Gourmande.

Government of Québec

  • Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec: Temporary financial support for arts organizations offering punctual initiatives for the dissemination of live shows.
    • Grant program for artists: Redesigned funding program intended for artists, writers and independent curators (learn more)
  • Ministère de la Culture et des Communications: Call for projects to increase initiatives for the creation, adaptation, dissemination and enhancement of events and online cultural content. The deadline for project submission is July 31, 2020 (learn more; English link not available).

Government of Canada

  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA): Interest free loan of up to $40,000 for small businesses and not-for-profits (learn more). Applicants whose employment income paid was less than $20,000 must meet the following criteria:
    • A commercial banking account with a recognized participating financial institution;
    • A Canada Revenue Agency business number, and have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return;
    • Have non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1,500,000. These expenses may include rent, property taxes, utilities and insurance.
  • 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);
  • 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. This measure covers 75% of fishing income losses recorded after the 25% income reduction threshold, up to a maximum individual payment granted under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, or $ 847 per week for a maximum period of 12 weeks (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);
  • 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);
  • 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, with annual revenues generally in the order of $300 million or higher. (details coming soon);
  • AgriInsurance Program: Inclusion of labor shortage as an allowable risk to the horticultural industry, to help avoid production losses due to insufficient labor for harvest (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)
  • AgriRecovery Program: Funding of up to $125 million to help producers facing additional costs. Funding includes funds set aside for cattle and hog management programs to manage reserve livestock on farms due to temporary closures of food processing plants (details coming soon);
  • Support for the fish and seafood processing sector: Financial assistance of $62.5 million under the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund (details coming soon);
  • 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);
  • 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)
  • Emergency Community Support Fund: $350 million to improve the ability of community organizations to serve vulnerable Canadians during the COVID-19 crisis. The investment will flow through national intermediaries that have the ability to get funds quickly to community organizations that serve vulnerable populations (learn more);
  • Additional financial support for VSEs and SMEs through Canada’s regional development agencies and the Community Futures Development Corporations (SADC) (learn more)
  • Futurpreneur Canada: streamlined client payments for up to 12 months (learn more);
  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA): provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers unsecured, forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to:
    • reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants
    • meet operating expenses on commercial properties
    • Property owners must offer a minimum of a 75% rent reduction for the months of April, May and June 2020 (learn more);
  • Deferral of GST/HST Tax Remittances: Permission for workers, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 the remittance of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and provincial tax on products and services (TPS) as well as customs duties on imports (learn more);
  • Payment deferrals and credit line program for agricultural producers, agribusinesses and food processors (learn more);
  • Extended filing and payment deadlines from the Canada Revenue Agency (learn more);
  • Increase in credit available to small, medium and large businesses through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) through the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) (learn more).

Government of Quebec

  • Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec: Temporary financial support for arts organizations offering punctual initiatives for the dissemination of live shows.
  • Grant program for artists: Redesigned funding program intended for artists, writers and independent curators (learn more)
  • Support for the recruitment of agricultural workers: Premium of $100 for seasonal agricultural workers for a minimum 25 hour work week (learn more; website not available in English);
  • Deferral of payment of registration fees to the registraire des entreprises du Québec until September 1, 2020. This measure applies to all enterprises whose annual update declaration is between March 13, 2020 and August 31, 2020. Companies covered by this measure who are charged a penalty related to a production delay will be reimbursed (learn more);
  • Concerted temporary action program for businesses whose liquidity is affected by the repercussions of COVID-19. Financing in the form of a loan guarantee is or an Investissement Québec loan (learn more).
  • Flexibility measures in connection with tax returns:
    • Extension of the deadline for filing and transmitting your tax return to June 1, 2020;
    • Postponement of the deadline for paying any balance due in connection with income tax returns for the 2019 taxation year, for both individuals and the self-employed, to September 1, 2020;
    • Suspension of payments of installments and taxes that would be due from March 17, 2020 until July 31. The date and terms of payment of the sums will be announced later. Companies will have a reasonable period of time to pay the sums due (learn more).

Government of Canada

  • 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);
  • 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);
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks for up to 16 weeks for workers who are not eligible for employment insurance, in particular self-employed individuals and contract workers (learn more);
  • Elimination, for at least six months, of the compulsory week-long waiting period for employment insurance sickness benefits for workers who are in quarantine or who have been instructed to isolate themselves (learn more);
  • Elimination of the requirement to provide a medical certificate to gain access to employment insurance sickness benefits (learn more).

Government of Quebec

  • Concerted action program for job retention (PACME): allows companies to receive subsidies to cover the costs of training activities as well as for work organization. 100% reimbursement for businesses of eligible expenses (trainer’s fees, equipment purchase, etc.), up to $100,000. Total program budget increased from $100 million to $150 million (learn more: website not available in English);
  • 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);
  • Temporary Aid for Workers Program (PATT): financial support for workers who are not entitled to employment insurance and who must be isolated (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.

Government of Canada

  • 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);
  • Extension of the maximum duration of work-sharing agreements by 38 weeks, for a total of 76 weeks;
  • Elimination of the mandatory waiting period so that employers whose agreement has recently ended can immediately apply for a new agreement.

Government of Quebec

  • Workplace rights and obligations with respect to the impacts associated with the spread of the COVID-19 virus (learn more).

How to keep informed

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

Additional pertinent links