The Fonds Entrepreneuriat commercial (FEC) (Retail entrepreneurship fund) administered by PME MTL Centre-Ville, implemented within the context of the City of Montréal’s Commercial Development Plan, represents a financial lever that is intended to facilitate the realization of retail entrepreneurship projects.
With grants of up to $25,000, the FEC administered by PME MTL Centre-Ville is intended to support innovative retail start-ups, the diversification of the retail offer of existing businesses, and in a complementary manner, e-commerce initiatives.
In order to ensure that the largest possible number of businesses is able to reap the benefits of the fund, PME MTL Centre-Ville is proceeding with a series of Calls for Projects. The terms and conditions applicable to the Calls for Projects are described below.
The deadlines for receiving projects in 2021 are as follows:
- March 29, 2021
- December 6, 2021
A grant of up to $25,000, not to exceed 25% of the total cost of the business project.
To be eligible for a grant from the FEC, a company or its directors must meet the following conditions:
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Be constituted of legal persons1, registered with the Registraire des entreprises du Québec (REQ)
- Have a Montréal-based business address and a head office in the province of Québec
- Have obtained the certificate of occupancy and all other permits required to carry out its business project
- Not be in debt to the Crown for amounts owed pursuant to tax laws
- Submit a business plan or project summary, current or projected financial statements and any other documents deemed relevant
- Demonstrate that the business brings added value to the existing retail offer
- Provide a minimum cash down of 20% of the total project value, which cannot be less than $5,000
- Not have received a grant or other financial assistance from PME MTL in connection with the same business project
1 - Eligible legal forms include business corporations, non-profit legal persons and cooperatives. Sole proprietorships, commonly known as self-employed persons, and general partnerships are not eligible for the fund.
The following projects are eligible for a grant from the FEC in one of the 24 commercial thoroughfares or zones within the territory of PME MTL Centre-Ville2:
- Opening of a new business with a street front window
- Diversification of the retail offer of an existing business
- Installation of an e-commerce platform within the context of opening a new business or the diversification of an existing business
2 - The economic activity must correspond to Sectors 44 and 45 (retail trade) or Subsector 722 (food services and drinking places) in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), with the exception of Subsectors 441 (motor vehicle and parts dealers) and 447 (gasoline stations), which are not eligible.
The following projects are not eligible for the FEC administered by PME MTL Centre-Ville:
- Projects belonging to a chain or banner (five or more existing establishments) or operating under a franchise or licence or belonging to a Crown corporation
- Projects located in a premises with no street front window or located in a shopping mall or shopping centre
- Projects involving business activities that significantly increase competition with the same type of establishment within the primary area of the thoroughfare or zone
- Projects involving business activities that are primarily erotic, political or religious in nature
- Projects that do not comply with applicable municipal, provincial or federal regulations
All eligible projects will be evaluated within four to six weeks after the deadline for each Call for Projects, based on the following criteria:
- Capacity to meet the needs of the area
- Potential for attraction and increasing local traffic
- Innovative and distinctive client experience
- Feasibility of the project based on the business plan, including a market analysis and financial projections (2 years)3
- Feasibility of the business profile
- Economic benefits (jobs, etc.) and investment value
- Suitability of the project to the targeted location
- Overall quality of the file
3 - The business plan must include a market and competition analysis. If applicable, it must demonstrate that the project does not create excessive competition within the primary area of the thoroughfare or zone. The financial projections must include an Earnings Statement and a Balance Sheet.
Conditions for awarding grants
In order to receive a grant from the FEC administered by PME MTL Centre-Ville, and prior to receiving any payment, beneficiaries must do the following:
- In the case of rental, sign a commercial lease for a period of at least 2 years for a space or building located in one of the 24 commercial thoroughfares or zones within the territory of PME MTL Centre-Ville, and plan to open the business within 6 months after confirmation of the grant, if applicable
- In the case of an existing business, beneficiaries must provide a copy of the lease, which must be in effect for a residual period of at least two years
- If applicable, provide proof of ownership if the beneficiaries own the targeted business premises
- Obtain or hold a certificate of occupancy as required by the relevant Borough or City, along with all other permits required to operate the business
- Sign an agreement with PME MTL Centre-Ville, acknowledging that, if the business ceases its activities or moves them outside the territory of PME MTL Centre-Ville within a period of 24 months after signing the agreement, the grant must be repaid, prorated to the number of months remaining in the 24-month period
Submitting applications and required documents
Using the Application Submission Form, each applicant must provide a business plan that includes financial projections for two fiscal years, and attach all documents required for a thorough understanding of the project. The business plan must demonstrate the feasibility of the project and the added value it brings for residents, tourists and visitors to the commercial thoroughfare or zone.
Please fill out the Submission Form using the platform below, and submit the duly completed Form. Your information will be treated in the strictest confidentiality.