Montreal, October 19, 2021 – Montreal mayoral candidate and Ensemble Montréal leader Denis Coderre and his team presented several measures today to support the city’s shop owners. After four years of dealing with red tape, they can count on the Coderre-Gelly administration to be a true ally and to ensure their vitality so that they continue to make Montreal a vibrant city.
“The bakery, the corner grocery or our favourite café: in Montreal, thriving local shops are an integral part of our urban lifestyle. It’s what gives each neighbourhood its unique charm. Unfortunately, many of our shop owners have experienced a series of setbacks with the City over the past four years, not to mention the insufficient and overly complex assistance programs created during the pandemic. Our team will make sure to help and support them with a comprehensive and dedicated plan,” said Coderre.
Stronger SDCs for more dynamic main streets
Under the Coderre-Gelly administration, every commercial street will be an inviting destination for each Montrealer to eagerly visit. To that end, a $50-million fund will be made available for Business Development Corporations (SDCs) and organizations to help them address urban health, safety and cleanliness issues, and a new PRAM-Commerce program will be put in place to organize street entertainment.
“We intend to create partnerships with artists and craftspeople to unleash the festive potential of commercial streets and make them more attractive. Right now, sidewalks are littered with garbage, cohabitation is difficult, and access to some streets is restrictive. Our administration will put an end to this era,” added Effie Giannou, City Councillor in the Bordeaux-Cartierville borough and candidate for Ensemble Montréal.
To better address the challenges that plague some thoroughfares, a Business Observatory will be created. Its mandate will be to continuously monitor Montrealers’ spending habits and to work in collaboration with SDCs so that they can adapt their policies to reflect available data about commercial initiatives, traffic or vacant space.
To ensure that each commercial street is genuinely vibrant, Ensemble Montréal will work to transform vacant premises into business incubators by making it possible for SDCs to acquire property. This will allow entrepreneurs to test the market while offering an evolving and varied commercial space supply to clients.
“There is the issue of street entertainment, but there are also several other challenges to overcome, such as the transition to online shopping or to large open-air shopping centres. For Montreal to remain competitive, it must support its shop owners and foster innovation,” said Mike Parente, Ensemble Montréal candidate for the position of Councillor in the François-Perrault borough.
Making life easier for shop owners
Under the Coderre-Gelly administration, the City of Montreal will also be an exemplary partner to shop owners who are struggling to keep their small- or medium-sized business afloat while coping with endless administrative tasks. To give them greater flexibility and help them recover from the crisis, they will be allowed to spread their property tax payments over 12 instalments. In the same vein, a plan to reduce bureaucratic red tape will be introduced to streamline the process of issuing permits for terraces, commercial occupancy and signage.
From a social and sustainable economic development perspective, a local purchasing clause will be included in the City’s procurement policy.
“We need to give contractors a respite from the municipal administration. By following the example of other cities and levels of government to review our programs, we will be able to eliminate the bureaucratic red tape curbing their vitality,” said Gilles Grondin, the Ensemble Montréal mayoral candidate for Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie.
Understanding that there is strength in numbers, our party will support the creation of shopkeepers and restaurant owners’ associations, while encouraging them to adopt the Business Development Corporations model.