Dealing with roadwork a priority for city's new business advisory committee

The city of Montreal is counting on a committee of business experts to help them come up with a business action plan to tackle everything from getting roadwork done faster to getting compensation for merchants for business lost during that roadwork.

The group is expected to come up with its recommendations by June which is when the city should present its business development plan.

Head of the new committee, Desjardins president and CEO Guy Cormier told a news conference that a first consultation meeting with merchants revealed that half were concerned with high taxes and half wanted ways to get roadwork done more quickly.

Montreal mayor Valérie Plante said that this is the first time the city is helping businesses in an official capacity — notably with forms of compensation — and that the city has a different mindset now when it comes to supporting merchants.

The city presented the 17 members of its new business advisory committee including the head of the Quebec branch of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business Martine Hébert; the head of the HEC business school at the Université de Montréal, Jacques Nantel; Charles De Brabant of the Bensadoun Retail Inititiative at McGill University; and Paul Desbaillets, head of the Burgundy Lion Group which owns the Burgundy Lion pub.