The Emergency Assistance for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses program is designed to offer temporary support to businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 and who need $50,000 cash or less.

Eligible clients

The following businesses are eligible for the program:

  • businesses in all industry sectors;
  • social economy enterprises, including cooperatives and not-for-profit organizations involved in commercial activities.

Eligible companies must:

  • have been in operation in Québec for at least one year;
  • be temporarily closed, likely to close or showing signs of closure;
  • be at a stage of maintaining, consolidating or relaunching their operations;
  • demonstrate a causal link between their financial or operational hardship and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applicants who are under the protection of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (LRC, 1985, chapter 36) or the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (LRC, 1985, chapter B-3) are ineligible.

Eligible funding

Funding is allocated in response to the company’s need for liquid assets and is determined on the basis of legitimate, reasonable expenses.

It must help the company compensate a cash shortfall caused by:

  • the inability to deliver products (goods or services) or merchandise or a substantial decrease in the ability to do so;
  • problems with the supply of raw materials or products (goods or services).

The assistance granted will take the form of a loan or loan guarantee of up to $50,000.

For financial assistance of $50,000 or more, go to Investissement Québec’s Concerted Temporary Action Program for Businesses This hyperlink will open in a new window. (CTAPB) web page.

Assistance stream for businesses in regions under maximum alert

In order to support businesses that must partially or completely cease operations because they are located in a maximum alert zone (red zone), a new stream has been created within the Emergency Assistance for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses. The Assistance for Businesses in Regions Under Maximum Alert (ABRUMA) will consist of a non-repayable loan (loan forgiveness) subject to the following criteria:

  • applies to loans granted as part of the Emergency Assistance to Small and Medium-Sized Businesses program;
  • is equal to certain core operating costs payable for the targeted closure period, including:
    • municipal and school taxes,
    • rent (the part not covered by another government program),
    • interest on a mortgage,
    • utility costs (e.g. electricity, gas),
    • insurance,
    • telecommunication costs,
    • association fees and licenses.

Loan forgiveness amounts will cover up to 80% of eligible core operating costs to a maximum of $15,000 per month of closure.

Eligible businesses must:

  • be located in a red zone, where certain businesses have been ordered to close due to the COVID-19 situation;
  • be the subject of a Ministerial Order to close lasting at least 10 days out of the month.

To apply

For information about the Emergency Assistance for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses program, contact your regional county municipality (RCM), your municipal office or the authority that manages the Local Investment Fund in your RCM.