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Press release
13 August 2020

Reception Hall and Sugar Shack Industry : The Government Must Provide Direct Assistance

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The Official Opposition is urging the Legault government to hear this morning’s heartfelt pleas by reception hall and sugar shack owners who no longer believe that loan programs do enough to support them. They are instead calling for direct assistance to ensure their survival.

The COVID-19 crisis has hit this industry head on as, contrary to many other sectors, reception halls and sugar shacks cannot operate at their maximum capacity despite partial economic deconfinement. For owners, receptions such as weddings or business conferences which often gather over 250 people, have been postponed by over a year or cancelled altogether. When it comes to sugar bushes, an entire season has been ruined by the crisis.

The government must therefore implement direct assistance for these SMEs who, in spite of deconfinement cannot be profitable, as was offered to performance venues. The sustainability of these sectors requires adapted financial support from the government. In Quebec, a vast majority of reception halls are Quebec SMEs that offer exceptional contributions to the vitality of our regions.

The message sent to the Legault government by the owners of reception hall and sugar shacks is unequivocal, and is a testament to the urgent need to take action, before it is too late. Given the exceptional situation we are experiencing, we knew that our SMEs would not be spared from economic instability. For over 4 months we have been asking François Legault to announce direct assistance to truly support Quebec’s entrepreneurs and it is high time that his government understand the reality experienced on the ground. François Legault needs to accept our request and finally understand that his inaction has major impacts on our economy, in addition to breaking the entrepreneurial dreams of so many Quebecers.

–Ms. Dominique Anglade, MNA representing Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne and Leader of the Official Opposition

It is a time of angst and uncertainty for owners of sugar shacks and reception halls. Dozens of local SMEs are currently experiencing financial insecurity and are even worried about their very survival. They wonder how they will be able to pay their bills, their rent, their fixed expenses, it’s a catastrophe for our entrepreneurs. The government needs to provide fast, direct financial assistance to successfully decrease anxiety within this industry and ensure its sustainability.

–Mr. Monsef Derraji, MNA representing Nelligan and Liberal Critic for SMEs and Innovation