Montreal: the opposition calls for administrative relief for businesses

Montréal: opposition calls for administrative relief for businesses

UPDATE DAY

The Official Opposition in Montreal is asking the City to streamline administrative processes for businesses, in particular to make applications for assistance and grants easier to complete. The party will propose a motion to this effect at the next city council, on October 24, 2022. 

Tétreaultville District City Councilor Julien Hénault-Ratelle has took the initiative after having met several actors at the level of economic and commercial development.

“We realized that one of the issues that was most present was precisely the support by the City of Montreal through all the administrative processes, and the quantity of documents that were necessary for the various requests”, a- he explained, in a telephone interview.

In particular, he wants the City of Montreal to put in place an action plan with “clear and quantified” objectives to allow for administrative relief. It also proposes the establishment of an electronic one-stop shop to centralize and facilitate requests and exchanges with companies.

“We see that inflation and labor shortages have an even greater impact on businesses. This justifies, in our opinion, the need to move forward,” said Mr. Hénault-Ratelle.

In 2018, an advisory committee mandated by the City already recommended “simplifying the regulations and facilitate the processing of requests” for merchants, in its report entitled Reconnecting with street commerce, a priority project.

Last August, several merchants denounced, to the author of these lines, the bureaucratic heaviness of the City. Owner of Agrigourmet, Ghislain Prud'homme, for example, had received only $101 in financial assistance as part of a program designed to compensate companies affected by construction sites. This, after paying $2,000 in accounting fees to complete the necessary documentation.

“It's one thing for the City to do some soul-searching and see what it can do. But it is very important to come and listen to the players on the field, those who live the situation day by day, ”recalled Mr. Hénault-Ratelle.

On the side of the Plante administration, we indicates that the motion will be debated at the next city council.

“Support for entrepreneurs has been a priority since the beginning of our administration. In addition to their contribution to the economy of the metropolis, they are a stakeholder in the vitality and quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said Marikym Gaudreault, press officer in the office of the mayor.

She adds that the municipal administration has often shown “agile” in making life easier for small and medium-sized businesses, especially during the pandemic.

“We will continue to support this sector at meet its needs, because for us, vibrant, diverse and healthy commercial streets are part of the vision of sustainable neighborhoods we have for Montreal,” she added.

< strong>Satisfaction

For his part, the vice-president of Quebec for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, François Vincent sees the initiative of the opposition “favourably”.< /p>

It indicates that in addition to the recent pandemic and inflation, companies are facing the shortage of labor, which also has consequences on the administrative side.

“The consequence is that business leaders are working longer hours. Everything that has to be done in terms of administrative formalities takes on an even greater weight than before,” he said.

According to his explanations, the federal and provincial governments have already taken a turn in order to reduce the bureaucratic burden for businesses. He hopes the municipal level will follow.

“The administrative and regulatory burden is inversely proportional to the size of the company. The smaller you are, the higher your cost of regulatory compliance will be,” he summarized.