Advisory Committee Report on the City of Montreal's Commercial Development Plan

Revitalizing brick-and-mortar businesses--a priority for the city.

Montreal, June 11, 2018 - Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group, tabled a report by the advisory committee on the City of Montreal's commercial development plan today. Mr. Cormier was asked by Montreal Mayor ValĂ©rie Plante to head up the committee, which was struck in March. It has been working in support of the City of Montreal's economic development strategy, focusing on improving the reality of Montreal businesses. 

"The committee sat down with merchants and business owners to listen to their concerns, and is making realistic recommendations to deal with challenges like high taxation, red tape, major construction projects and online shopping. Now it's up to the City of Montreal to give a clear sign that it's committed to supporting brick-and-mortar shops in Montreal," said Mr. Cormier.

The committee's 23 recommendations include improving how construction projects are managed and running them more efficiently, while incorporating a program to compensate merchants that are negatively impacted. The report also addresses taxation. It proposes a plan to better balance residential and non-residential taxes and reduce general non-residential property tax for the first $500,000 of assessed property value. Finally, it recommends that the city streamline its administrative processes.
"Merchants are working hard to adapt to new consumer behaviours while maintaining their relationships with their respective neighbourhoods. To support them, the City of Montreal must also find ways to adapt to this new reality, and many of our recommendations will help with this," added Mr. Cormier.

The committee made 23 recommendations in six key categories:

  • Improve how construction projects are managed and compensate merchants 
  • Lghten merchants' tax burden 
  • Simplify regulations and make it easier to submit applications 
  • Keep pace with the digital revolution
  • Improve the consumer experience 
  • Position Montreal as a top shopping destination 

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