June 7, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Pandemic help for businesses: Losses could reach $200 million, says Fitzgibbon

Pandemic help for businesses: Losses could reach $200 million, says Fitzgibbon

Finance Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said on Monday that losses from the main pandemic business relief program could further triple and exceed $200 million.

• Also Read – Private sector: Over $70 million in pandemic aid goes up in smoke

The journal revealed that these losses have already reached more than 70 million dollars. These are amounts lent by the government to bankrupt companies such as Groupe Selection, Forex, Efenco and La Renaissance des Isles.

“With the headwinds blowing against us now, it’s clear that it’s going to be more difficult. So unfortunately I hope there are other circumstances. will be there [d’autres] Losses,” Mr Fitzgibbon said on 98.5 FM.

The minister estimated that these losses could reach “three times” what they are now, which would mean more than $200 million in cancellations under the Program of Concerted Temporary Action (PACTE) for Quebec businesses.

He estimated that when the program was set up in March 2020, losses on loan and guaranteed amounts could reach “10 to 15%”.

Over $1 billion in aid

The government has allocated $1.24 billion to 1,479 companies under PACTE. About $580 million of that is in the form of loans and the rest in the form of loan guarantees.

“People may have forgotten, but the pandemic was very severe for SMEs. A lot of people criticized us for not helping enough,” recalls Pierre Fitzgibbon.

In 2022, 1,945 Quebec companies were insolvent, including 1,624 insolvent. This is 27% more than in 2021.

And over the past few months, the number of bankrupt companies has surpassed pre-pandemic levels. In January, no fewer than 157 Quebec companies declared bankruptcy.

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