City of Montreal offers $1.5M in compensation for merchants hurt by express bike lane roadwork

ST. DENIS BIKE LANE

The city of Montreal is offering $1.5M in compensation to merchants whose business is taking a hit due to roadwork for the new express bike lanes. 

The amount of compensation will depend on the square footage of the business - anywhere from $2500 to $5000. 

They can apply for aid as of the end of next month once the program gets council approval and the cheques should go out starting next year. The program will last until next October or until the state of emergency is over.

The 685 merchants affected include ones on St. Denis, Peel and Bellechasse.

Montreal mayor Valerie Plante said during this week's executive committee that they are lending merchants a hand with a quick and simplified compensation program - extra help for a roadwork project that she described as relatively short in the case of St. Denis - 45 days.

For merchants such as Anne-Marie Laoun, president of Georges Loaoun Opticians on St. Denis, the compensation would not have even been needed if the Plante administration had just put off the express bike lane and dealt with priorities during the pandemic.

"I don't know about all the other businesses but I know for mine, $2500- $5000 is not going to make up for the loss of sales (linked to) the construction," said Laoun.

Some merchants such as banks or real estate offices would not be eligible.

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