Financial struggles threaten closure for small businesses in Montreal

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Amidst the bustling streets of St-Denis in Montreal sits Le Saint-Bock, a renowned restaurant famous for its craft beer offerings. However, recent times have proven challenging for Martin Guimond, the owner, as he grapples with mounting financial pressures.

The impact of lockdown measures has been severe, with sudden closures mandated by government regulations leading to significant losses. Additionally, rising city taxes, slated to reach a 13-year high, further exacerbate the situation.

The decision to extend metered parking hours until 11 p.m. aims to bolster city revenue, particularly to fund projects like expanded bike lanes. However, this move imposes additional burdens on struggling businesses.

In an exclusive interview, Guimond sheds light on the grim reality facing small business owners in Montreal. “I’m having so much trouble doing business,” he says. The once-vibrant street now sees a stark decline in foot traffic, impacting revenue streams.

Guimond points to various factors contributing to the downturn, including escalating costs and reduced consumer spending. He criticizes city policies prioritizing initiatives like bike lanes over economic revitalization.

Reflecting on the city’s decision-making, Guimond emphasizes the need for a balanced approach that prioritizes long-term prosperity over short-term gains. “We need to choose between money right now or money later,” he asserts, advocating for decisions that support businesses and community vibrancy.

Amidst the economic challenges faced by Montreal due to the pandemic, voices like Martin Guimond’s highlight the urgent need for strategic interventions to revive struggling neighborhoods and ensure a thriving business landscape.

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