Projet Montréal: the ally of merchants

08 Oct 2021


Go back to NewsProjet Montréal: the ally of merchants

After four years of historic support for the commercial sector, Projet Montréal's leader, Valérie Plante, unveiled her team's plan to ensure the prosperity of local businesses and the vitality of neighborhoods during her team's second mandate.

Accompanied by Verdun mayoral candidate Marie-Andrée Mauger and Plateau-Mont-Royal mayoral candidate Luc Rabouin, the leader of Projet Montréal outlined three concrete measures to ensure the affordability of commercial space, reduce taxes for small commercial buildings and promote the vitality of commercial arteries.

With these measures, the next administration of Projet Montréal will offer $111 million in support to Montréal's commerce.

1. Ensuring the affordability of commercial space

To protect merchants from disproportionate rent increases caused by the speculative market, Projet Montréal will set up the Accès-Locaux program, a commercial space acquisition program that will allow SDCs and non-profit organizations to ensure merchants have access to affordable commercial space. A sum of $5 million has been set aside to launch the program, which will allow, by the end of the next mandate, to assemble a fund of $100 million in private capital. With this commitment, Projet Montréal is responding to a recommendation of the report on the problem of vacant spaces on commercial arteries.

2. Lower taxes for small commercial buildings

To allow small commercial landlords to get more tax breaks, Projet Montréal will continue to apply differentiated tax rates for non-residential buildings. To provide relief to more businesses, the first $900,000 of commercial property will be eligible for a reduced tax rate. Previously, the cap was set at $750,000. More than 90% of Montreal businesses will now be eligible for a tax reduction. This strategy was successful during Projet Montréal's first mandate, which resulted in a total tax reduction of 16%.

3. $106 million for commercial arteries and summer pedestrianization

Projet Montréal will make permanent the temporary emergency assistance envelopes, which have supported Montréal's business development corporations and business associations, for a total of $5.5 million per year. Since the summer pedestrianization as well as the animation and development of commercial arteries have been a great success, Projet Montréal will continue to support pedestrianization projects led by the SDCs, which a majority of merchants support, for a total of $4 million per year, for four years. Merchants will also be able to continue to benefit from financial support programs, notably the program to help businesses become more accessible, the PRAM commerce program, the Artère en transformation program, and the program to support arteries affected by major works. An envelope of $62 million will be reserved for them. Finally, Projet Montréal will continue to offer terrace permits at only a symbolic cost next year, resulting in savings estimated at $2 million.


"Projet Montréal will continue to be an outstanding ally of local merchants. Through a commercial space acquisition program, advantageous taxation, the continued support of programs and projects to animate commercial arteries, our team will promote the growth of local commerce. Local merchants and the vitality of Montréal's commercial arteries are at the heart of our team's economic development vision and we will continue to take concrete action to support their dynamic energy and vitality." - Valérie Plante, leader of Projet Montréal

"To face the rise of online commerce, we must help our commercial arteries reinvent themselves and pedestrianization projects are part of the solution. In Verdun, the pedestrianization of Wellington Street has helped local merchants to successfully weather the health crisis. It also allowed the public to reclaim the street. We are proud to pledge our continued support for the pedestrianization projects envisioned and created through the expertise of the business development corporations." - Marie-Andrée Mauger, aspiring mayor of Verdun

"Local merchants and commercial arteries are essential to the vitality of the metropolis and its neighbourhoods, in addition to providing access to local products and services. They are an integral part of the green and inclusive recovery that our team has set in motion and that has enabled Montréal to experience the best economic recovery in the country. The commercial sector has been undergoing major transformations for several years, but our team knows how to find solutions, along with industry players, to support a necessary and positive shift for our arteries." - Luc Rabouin, candidate for mayor of Plateau-Mont-Royal