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Frequently Asked Questions PACTE
Answers to your questions on the Concerted Temporary Action Program for Businesses (PACTE), its Assistance for Businesses in Regions on Maximum Alert (AERAM) component, and on specific conditions for the tourism industry.
I am an Investment Québec client. Who should I contact?
- For general questions on the Assistance for Businesses in Regions on Maximum Alert program (AERAM), contact our call centre at
1-844 474-6367. Our customer service team will be pleased to give you more information about the program.
I do not have a business relationship with Investissement Québec. How should I proceed?
If your business is located in a red zone and has been ordered to close, contact our call centre at 1-844 474-6367.
In any other situation, follow these steps:
- The first step is to contact your financial institution right away. This is a key step and involves working with your account manager to identify the relief measures to which you may be entitled (such as the moratorium on principal repayment) in regard to your cash flow. Your financial institution is in the best position to assess the various options, so you should contact it first. This is the fastest route to the cash you need.
- The preferred type of financial support is a loan guarantee (which is also applicable to lines of credit). For this purpose, Investissement Québec works with all financial institutions and the federal authorities. Assistance can also take the form of a loan from Investissement Québec.
- A loan guarantee is a guarantee to repay a percentage of a net loss related to a loan, a line of credit or any other financial commitment granted to a business by a financial institution (the lender).
- Once you have found a solution with your financial institution, it will contact the Investissement Québec office for your region directly. Our online directory will enable your institution’s account manager to quickly identify the person to contact.
- If you do not have access to funding from a financial institution, contact our customer service team at 1 844-474-6367.
What industries are not eligible?
All industries are eligible, except for the following:
- Weapons manufacturing and distribution
- Games of chance and gambling (video lottery operations), combat sports, racing and other similar activities
- Any form of sexual exploitation, such as strip bars, escort agencies, brothels, erotic massage parlours and swingers’ clubs
- Production and sale of tobacco and drugs along with services related to their use, except for projects involving pharmaceutical-grade products approved by Health Canada and having a DIN, or their ingredients, as well as R&D projects licensed by Health Canada
- Any activity whose main purpose is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (religion, politics, human rights advocacy, etc.)
- Any other activity that may offend public morals
What businesses are eligible for the Assistance for Businesses in Regions on Maximum Alert component (AERAM)?
- To qualify for AERAM, a business must be located in a red zone and subject to a closure order.
- AERAM was created to support businesses that must partially or completely discontinue operations because they are located in maximum-alert regions (red zones).
- Businesses in the following categories are eligible:
- Any indoor premises, other than a private home or premises that serve as such, when used for the purposes of holding an event or social activity
- Arcades, amusement parks, tourist attractions and water parks
- Bars and discotheques
- Concert halls (only those that were subject to a closure order between October 1, 2020 and February 7, 2021 or are still under a closure order)
- Libraries other than those operated by educational institutions, except for loan desks (only those that were subject to a closure order between October 1, 2020 and February 7, 2021)
- Microbreweries and distilleries, solely with respect to their on-site food and beverage services (only those that were subject to a closure order between October 1, 2020 and February 7, 2021 or are still under a closure order)
- Movie theatres and performing arts theatres, including performance venues (only those that were subject to a closure order between October 1, 2020 and February 26, 2021 or are still under a closure order)
- Museums, the Biodome, planetariums, insectariums, botanical gardens, aquariums and zoos (only those that were subject to a closure order between October 1, 2020 and February 7, 2021)
- Reception rooms
- Restaurants (only those that were subject to a closure order between October 1, 2020 and February 7, 2021 or are still under a closure order)
- Retail businesses that were subject to a closure order between October 1, 2020 and February 7, 2021
- Saunas and spas, except for personal care services provided on the premises
- Sports training centres (only those that were subject to a closure order between October 1, 2020 and February 7, 2021 or are still under a closure order)
- Theatres (only those that were subject to a closure order between October 1, 2020 and February 7, 2021 or are still under a closure order)
- Youth hostels
In addition, businesses that provide recreational or sports activities organized in a public place and are forced to suspend some of their activities may be eligible for AERAM.
For more details and to see all relevant red-zone sectors of economic activity, click here .
The funding recipient can be the establishment’s owner or a tenant occupying a commercial space.
Businesses will qualify for enhanced assistance for a given month if they were ordered to close to protect public health for at least 10 days in that month. Because of the exceptional nature of the situation, the closure period is at least 7 days for February and March 2021.
Eligible hotel operators who have dining rooms and reception rooms will qualify for maximum loan forgiveness of $15,000 per establishment.
The funding granted covers the business’s needs from January 1, 2021.
What expenses are eligible for loan forgiveness under AERAM?
- Eligibility for loan forgiveness, which takes effect after the principal repayment moratorium, is determined as follows: a sum equal to 100% of eligible building leasing or ownership expenses, up to a maximum of $15,000 a month, during the period in which establishments in red zones are closed, up to a maximum of 80% of the total of the loan.
- Expenses eligible for forgiveness are the portion not covered by any other government program related to:
- School and municipal taxes
- Mortgage interest paid
- Charges for utilities such as electricity and gas
- Telecommunication charges
- Permit and association fees
Where can I find the Québec government’s official map of official alert zones?
To qualify for AERAM, a business must be located in a red zone and subject to a closure order. Click here to see the map, click here .
What types of tourism establishments are eligible?
To be eligible, tourism industry businesses* must be registered on the Bonjour Québec website.
- Tourism industry businesses are eligible, except for:
- Food service businesses
- Festivals and events
- Bed and breakfasts with three bedrooms or fewer and the non-commercial portion of bed-and-breakfasts with four or more bedrooms
- Tourist homes and businesses renting out one to three tourist homes
- Teaching institutions
- Accommodation establishments with one to three bedrooms
- Casinos and games of chance
- Theatres and performance venues
- Industrial visits
- Corporations, tourism offices, municipalities and associations
- Municipal, paramunicipal, regional, provincial and federal government bodies
* Travel agencies do not have to be registered with Bonjour Québec. However, only travel agencies that are registered on the website of the Office de la protection du consommateur and hold a “general,” “restricted” (adventure tourism travel organizer) or “restricted” (outfitter) travel agent permit are eligible.
Are businesses under the protection of the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act eligible?
Businesses must not be under the protection of the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act or the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
What does it mean when you say that refinancing is prohibited?
- It means that Investissement Québec will not finance pre-existing debt contracted with Investissement Québec or other financial institutions prior to the COVID-19 crisis.
- However, Investissement Québec may guarantee new financing. For example, if a financial institution agrees to provide a business with a new line of credit to help it with its cash flow, or if a lender increases a customer’s existing line of credit, Investissement Québec could guarantee the new line of credit or the portion corresponding to the increase in the existing line of credit.
What is the minimum funding amount under the PACTE program?
The minimum amount of Investissement Québec’s financial assistance is $50,000. For eligible businesses in the tourism industry, there is no minimum amount of funding, except for eligible travel agencies and bed and breakfasts, for which the minimum amount is $50,000.
There is no minimum funding amount for the tourism industry.
The account manager at my financial institution doesn’t seem to be aware of the PACTE program. What should I do?
- All financial institutions have been informed of the PACTE program. However, it is possible that some employees have not yet been fully informed.
- We encourage you to contact them again and to tell them how they can reach Investissement Québec’s regional offices by referring to our online directory .
- You can also send them a link to our website explaining the program .
Could Investissement Québec agree to guarantee a line of credit or an increase in a line of credit?
- A line of credit guarantee is applicable in the following specific conditions:
- New lines of credit
- Increases to existing lines of credit. In this case, Investissement Québec guarantees
I am a real estate developer. Am I eligible?
- Please contact your financial institution to find out what kind of relief measures it can offer you.
- This is the fastest way to obtain cash-flow assistance because your institution is already familiar with the details of your situation.
What can I do if my financing needs are less than $50,000, the minimum amount set by the PACTE program?
- The PACTE program covers cash shortfalls or needs in excess of $50,000 (except in the tourism industry, for which there is no minimum funding amount ).
- However, the provincial government has announced new measures to support businesses with needs of less than $50,000 through local investment funds (FLIs). Click here to view them. .
- The federal government has announced a loan program for needs of $40,000 or less. Learn more here. .
- In addition, BDC has a solution geared to business needs under $100,000. For more information, click here. click here. .
- Assistance is also available from regional county municipalities (RCMs) through local investment funds (Fonds locaux d’investissement, or FLIs) and local solidarity funds (Fonds locaux de solidarité).
Want to know more?
Dial 1 844 474-6367
Monday-Friday: 8:30 to 4:30