Friday , January 15 2021

Financial aid: Legault’s words do not hold water, say restaurateurs

Restaurant owners refuse to present proof of payment of their rent to obtain the financial assistance promised by Quebec, according to François Legault, an assertion that does not hold water according to an association in the sector.

“I don’t understand the logic behind this. There is no reason why a restaurateur would not want to provide a copy of his lease, ”said the vice-president of the Association restoration Quebec, François Meunier.

At a press conference Tuesday, Prime Minister François Legault said that restaurateurs refuse to show proof of rent in order to obtain the aid promised by Quebec.

“Obviously, as we manage Quebeckers’ money, we cannot pay aid without having proof of how much they pay for their rents, how much they pay for their taxes. So some are unhappy when asked for invoices, ”declared the leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec, in response to a question put to him in English.

Last Sunday, The Journal of Montreal has published numerous testimonials from restaurateurs who are too long to receive the aid promised by the government to businesses forced to close because of health restrictions in the red zone.

For François Meunier, the “logic” behind the Prime Minister’s remarks remains difficult to grasp since “there is no reason why a restaurateur would not want to provide a copy of his lease”.

“I am surprised, because I had discussions with economic development organizations and I have never been told about this,” he added.

For Restaurant Canada vice-president of federal affairs, David Lefebvre, if the Prime Minister referred to financial statements audited by an accountant, it is normal that small business owners cannot provide them.

“It can be difficult to meet administrative requirements if they don’t have an accounting department. There are those for whom it is a little more complicated, ”he said, pleading for a better support program.

At the office of the Minister of the Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, however, it is specified that only summary financial statements are requested, in addition to invoices for current expenses and rent.

As of last week, barely about 2,200 restaurateurs had applied for assistance in order to be reimbursed for 80% of their fixed costs such as rent, taxes and insurance up to a maximum of $ 15,000.

Of this number, 945 are still in analysis, 596 have been accepted and 59 refused.

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