Contribution of over $18M for Association québécoise des technologies to support Quebec SMEs

From: Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

Montréal, April 6, 2021. – The governments of Canada and Quebec are together granting over $18 million to the Association québécoise des technologies (AQT) and its partner, the École des entrepreneurs du Québec (EEQ), to support retailers in making the digital shift, an effort that will cost a total of over $22 million.

This project aims to stimulate the digital transformation of some 5000 businesses in the retail sector with fewer than 100 employees. The AQT and EEQ will provide personalized, structured mentoring to targeted businesses across Quebec to enable them to seize e‑commerce opportunities.

The governments of Canada and Quebec are each providing a non-repayable financial contribution of $9,007,929 to the AQT. The federal financial assistance comes from the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program, while the Government of Quebec’s assistance is being granted as part of the Offensive de transformation numérique.

The Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, and the Minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, made the announcement today.

Quotes

“I am very proud to announce, along with my Quebec counterpart Pierre Fitzgibbon, $9 million in funding for the AQT and the EEQ. They are driving innovation forward in Quebec, and it is largely through technology and digitization that our country’s economic recovery will take place. We are aware of the difficulties our businesses have experienced during the pandemic, and our government will always be here to support and help advance the Canadian and Quebec industry, while also boosting the creation and maintenance of good jobs, especially in these more difficult times.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

“As part of the Offensive de transformation numérique, this assistance will accelerate our local shopkeepers’ shift to the digital economy, enabling them to compete against major online chains. The digital shift by retailers, supported by the AQT, is one initiative that will enable Quebec’s retail sector to transition into the new economy.”

Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation

Quick facts:

  • The AQT is a technology business network. It provides entrepreneurs with a stimulating world-class environment conducive to the growth of their business and the technology industry.
  • As part of the Offensive de transformation numérique, the Government of Quebec will invest $130 million by March 31, 2022, to boost the implementation of projects aimed at accelerating the digital transformation of Quebec businesses and fostering the growth of innovative SMEs through specialized mentoring.
  • Of this amount, over $50 million will be used to support an initial selection of projects to raise awareness among over 43,000 businesses of the importance of making the digital shift and to mentor 8000 of them through the process.
  • CED is one of six regional development agencies under the responsibility of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, the Honourable Mélanie Joly.
  • CED’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program targets entrepreneurs leveraging innovation to grow their businesses and enhance their competitiveness, as well as regional economic stakeholders helping to create an entrepreneurial environment conducive to innovation and growth for all, across all regions.
  • Through REGI, CED is helping Quebec businesses to digitize their operations so they are more competitive and to develop new markets. Businesses and organizations have also received technical support to adapt their operations to the health crisis through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), a program administered by CED in Quebec.

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