Startups and startup ecosystem

Have incubators and support organizations launched a common action to express startups founders needs?

  • LeCOUDE is an action plan implemented by MAIN (Mouvement of Accelerators in Innovation for Quebec) in collaboration with Quebec accelerators in the context of the economic crisis created by mitigation measures related to COVID-19
  • Bonjour Startup Montréal launched several initiatives to gather members of the ecosystem including:
Are there compensations for small enterprises’ revenue loss?

The Ville de Montréal has provided $5 million through PME MTL to support retail, social economy, creative industries and tourism. For all additional information on the terms, contact PME MTL.

The Ministry of Economy and Innovation launched an Emergency Help Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises for eligible companies who need cashflow up to $50,000. This programme is managed through PME MTL network.

How can I evaluate a loss in Revenues in the current context?

Companies should demonstrate a 15% loss (and not 30%) in Revenues for the month of March. They can also use January and February as a reference period to demonstrate this loss in Revenues.
For a calculation example, check the government of Canada’s website.

Where can I ask for help to adapt my working habits and respect social distancing norms?

Check the measures implemented by the government of Canada

Are there resources available for startups in a pre-launch state?

Microcrédit Montréal offers loans for pre-launch up to $2,000 to experiment with a business idea. Analysis is based on personal revenues for the promotor. Financing is dedicated to organizations that are excluded from traditional financing options.
Check the list of incubators (depending on your industry or sector) as some of them offer grants in addition to free services to selected projects.

Can founders who stop paying themselves with wages get compensation?

If the company shuts down operations completely, the founder could be eligible to Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
If the owner continues to manage his company, the best solution would be to preserve his wage and attempt to get Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

Employers / Employees / Independent workers

How can we preserve current employees in a company?

Check the Work Sharing Programme offered by the Federal Government

Check if your company is eligible to the 75% Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy. This subsidy is available to companies that can demonstrate if they have lost at least 30% of Revenues. The subsidy is for a maximum of 3 months.

Are there measures to help independent workers who do not have contracts anymore?

Check the Temporary Help Programme for Workers (PATT)
Check the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

What percent of actual wages can employee get from the Work Sharing Programme?

As an example, you can check the calculation tool from AFMQ (Association des fabricants de meubles du Québec)

Are there measures for employees on a temporary layoff?

Check the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

How does the Federal government’s Wage Subsidy works?

You can check the article by la Presse (in French) for simulations of Questions and Answers

How can I manage layoffs in such a difficult time?

You can check Montréal inc. coaches services
You can also check the document from l’Ordre des Conseillers en Ressources humaines

Are international workers with a work permit included in the help programmes?

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is available for ALL workers. So if a worker has a work permit and is in good standing for working he would normally be eligible for CERB.

How much does my loss in revenues have to be to get subsidies?

For the federal wage subsidy, companies should demonstrate a 15% drop in revenues in March. They can also use January and February as reference periods to demonstrate a loss in revenues. As for non=profit organizations and charity, they can choose between including or excluding governmental subsidies when calculating their loss in revenues.

If I have recruited in 2020 can I still get access to the loans offered by PACTE?

The financial aid through PACTE is at least $50,000 accessible through through a loan guarantee by Investissement Québec. In the current situation, your financial institution is better placed to evaluate the best options applicable to your company. You should thus communicate with the Account Manager of your financial institution. It is a key step towards identifying with him the best options for you (i.e. a moratorium) when it comes to your cashflow.
Wage expenses are not a pre-requisite for accessing PACTE but it is rather cashflow issues that are evaluated on a case by case basis by your Account Manager.
If you have more question related to the PACTE programme you can call Investissement Québec 1-844 474-6367.


What help is offered by BDC and EDC?

  • A $10 billion credit programme is available through BDC and EDC. Check Canada Economic Intervention Plan.
  • The Bank of Development Canada (BDC) provides the Working Capital Loan and the Business Credit Availability Program. Check all additional measures from BDC.
  • Exportation and Development Canada (EDC) offers the Business Credit Availability Programme to cover wages and operating costs. Check all EDC measures.
  • EDC has launched a toll free landline (1-800-229-0575) to answer all questions related to COVID and its implications.
Which loans are available for companies who do not have $50,000 annual revenues?

Quebec government: The programme Emergency Help for Small and Medium Enterprises aimes to support for a limited period companies eligible who are going through financial issues in relations to COVID-19 and need cashflow for less than $50,000. This programme is managed by PME MTL. You should contact the division that manages your territory. Admissibility:

  • be active in Quebec for at least a year
  • be temporarily closed or likely to close
  • be in a context of consolidating or relaunching activities
  • demonstrating a cause and effect relation between financial issues and COVID-19

Federal government: the Business Credit Availability Program allows EDC to offer Canadian businesses of all sizes the credit they need during the COVID-19 pandemic including a financing up to $40,000 interest free until 31 December 2022.

Stay up to date on the ecosystem

Every Monday, you will get a special newsletter from Bonjour Startup Montréal developed with Montréal inc., Notman House and OSMO and highlighting the initiatives within the ecosystem to adapt and pivot in the current context.

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