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Message from the ICCC: The situation in Italy and support for Québec SMEs

Dear Members and Partners,

We continue to closely monitor the Coronavirus situation in order to inform you of new developments that could affect your business and your business relationships with your partners and customers in Italy.

The situation in Italy and growth in certain sectors

Italy is experiencing an encouraging flattening of the COVID-19 pandemic curve. The hypothesis is emerging of a resumption of activities by the end of the month for certain industrial sectors, such as construction, fashion, mining and the automotive industry, although the regions of Lombardy, Veneto and Piedmont oppose it.

In Quebec, residential construction sites, included in the list of priority services and activities, have resumed work on April 20 to complete deliveries of residential units scheduled by July 31, 2020. Here as in Italy, the closure of non-essential activities is still planned until May 4th.

While this crisis seems to be slowing down the global economy as a whole, some sectors are experiencing very strong growth in Italy due to the mandatory confinement of the population and the changes in habits imposed by the situation. This is particularly the case for the retail and online sales sectors. As in Canada, supermarkets and pharmacies remain open during the lockdown, being one of the last destinations for Italian outings. To this end, there has been a significant increase in the sale of long-preserved products, such as canned foods, pasta, cookies and coffee; hygiene products, such as detergents, cleaning products, wipes and soaps; basic food for cooking at home as well as comfort foods, such as chips and cookies. Wines, beers and other spirits are also growing significantly. Bodybuilding devices and accessories, printers and office items, as well as telecommunications services are also growing.

Click here for more details (article in Italian).

Federal support for SMEs – New measures

The Government of Canada expanded the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. This new range will replace the previous one of between $50,000 and $1 million, and will help address the challenges faced by small businesses to cover non-deferrable operating costs. Since the launch of the CEBA on April 9, 2020, more than 195,000 loans have been approved by financial institutions, extending more than $7.5 billion in credit to small businesses.

In addition, the government introduced the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The program will seek to provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June.

For more details, please click here.

Transport of merchandise and logistics cluster

The Port of Montreal, as well as transportation, logistics and storage activities, have been recognized as essential services by the Government of Quebec and the Government of Canada, while respecting safety and hygiene rules. CargoM — Montreal’s Metropolitan Logistics and Transportation Cluster has identified more than 10.5 square feet of outdoor space and more than 1.55 square feet of indoor space in Greater Montreal.

If you need storage space or manpower to support your activities, please click here.

Air Canada Cargo can also support the supply chain by transporting regular cargo and specialty cargo using Air Canada Boeing 777 and 787-9 aircraft. There are routes between the cities in Air Canada’s Global network. A convenient trucking service is in place to and from the United States.

For more information, click here.

ICCC support initiative for open restaurants and businesses

The ICCC is continuing its promotional initiative to benefit members and partners in the retail and restaurant industry who remain open during the pandemic. We offer our various digital platforms and extensive network of contacts to our members in order to promote the services offered during this time: special menus; home delivery; take-out orders online orders; gift cards, etc.

Il suffit d’envoyer les renseignements suivants à :

• Name of your establishment
• Coordinates (address, phone, website)
• Brief description of your services during the pandemics with picture(s)

Aiutiamo l’Italia

The Italian Embassy in Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross and with the support of the Italian Chambers of Commerce in Canada, would like to thank everyone who has already generously donated in support of the Italian Red Cross’ activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. A reminder that this fundraising campaign is dedicated to helping the most vulnerable in Italy in this period of uncertainty.

If you would like to contribute, please click here.

Our team remains dedicated to answer all your questions and to assist you.

We invite you to visit our website and social media platforms frequently for the latest updates.

Thank you for your continued trust and stay safe.

The ICCC Team |