COVID-19: Over $200,000 in support for Sherbrooke entrepreneurial ecosystem

From: Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit small and medium-sized businesses hard, and business owners must show resilience and creativity in adapting their operations to health regulations and physical distancing requirements.

The Eastern Townships have not escaped the crisis. The vitality of large centres such as Sherbrooke must be preserved. On the ground, the many calls for help with the critical situation facing store owners and businesses have been heard.

That is why Élisabeth Brière, Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec), is today announcing financial assistance of $210,000 for Pro-Gestion Estrie, whose multidisciplinary team provides support services for the start-up, management and growth of businesses.

The non-repayable contribution has been granted through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). With a total budget of close to $1 billion, the RRRF is providing $211 million to support Quebec businesses and NPOs. Through this initiative, emergency funds to cover the need for working capital and technical assistance are being offered to Quebec businesses and NPOs.

Pro-Gestion Estrie serving Sherbrooke entrepreneurs

For the city of Sherbrooke, the technical assistance component for SMEs is being provided by Pro‑Gestion Estrie, an NPO founded in 1984 with a mission to promote entrepreneurship in this sector of the Eastern Townships region.

Through this support from CED, Pro-Gestion Estrie will be able to provide technical assistance services up to March 31, 2021, to Sherbrooke businesses and NPOs affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. Businesses and organizations will thus benefit from the expertise and accompaniment of specialized resources to stabilize their situation, thereby being in a better position for the economic recovery.

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan has enabled millions of jobs to be protected, families to receive emergency assistance and businesses to stay afloat throughout the pandemic. As we pursue an economic recovery in complete safety, the Government of Canada will always place Canadians at the forefront of its concerns, while working to build a resilient and more just economy for all.


“Since the start of this pandemic, our government has been listening and recognizes that our businesses are facing unique realities and challenges. This new funding will help support businesses so they in turn can help keep the Eastern Townships region strong and well positioned for the economic recovery.”

Élisabeth Brière, Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

“Our homegrown businesses, like those across the country, are essential to our economic recovery. Helping them innovate so they can better rebound from the crisis and thus enhance their competitiveness is at the heart of our priorities. With today’s announcement, our message is clear: we are here for Quebec with concrete measures, and we are working with homegrown businesses to create jobs for Quebecers and kick-start our economy.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED

“This new funding will enable us, among other things, to provide support more particularly to businesses located in Sherbrooke’s downtown area and large commercial hubs, to start-ups and to the self-employed. The idea is to maximize our assistance for these businesses, which contribute so much to the quality of life in our communities.”

Charles-Olivier Mercier, Executive Director, Pro-Gestion Estrie

Quick facts

  • The Honourable Mélanie Joly is the minister responsible for the six regional development agencies (RDAs), including CED.

  • CED is a key federal partner in Quebec’s regional economic development. With its 12 regional business offices, CED is accompanying businesses, supporting organizations and regions across Quebec into tomorrow’s economy.

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