Across Quebec, containment measures, remote working, restrictions on restaurants and cancellations of major cultural events have reduced economic activity in city centres.
Municipalities will have to submit to the Ministry of Economy and Innovation an action plan to obtain the promised assistance. The department confirmed that the city of Sherbrooke, where the announcement was made, will receive a maximum aid of $1.2 million.
Aid can be divided in four ways, either through direct assistance to businesses, through downtown improvements, through planned recovery consultation events or through infrastructure investment.
The government hopes that its intervention will help the central regions restore their pre-pandemic dynamics, Lucy Licorse, the economy minister, explains in a press release.
City centers are important economic drivers: they must quickly restart their activities and regain their vitality.
In addition to Sherbrooke, the following municipalities are eligible for government assistance: Alma, Drummondville, Gatineau, Granby, Laval, Levis, Longueuil, Rimouski, Saguenay, Saint-Georges, Saint-Haccent, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Saint-Jérôme, Salberé-de-Vallefeld, Shawinigan, Sorel Tracy, Trois-Rivieres and Victoriaville.
Montreal and Quebec are not affected by this announcement.
A $50 million envelope has already been announced in the November 2020 Economic Update to support the city and the capital.