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Coronavirus: Montreal-area business owners anxious to get back to work

Coronavirus: Quebec businesses eager to re-open
WATCH: After putting the province on hold for six weeks, Quebec Premier François Legault says it’s time to get things moving again. And while many are looking forward to getting back to normal, it is clear that things will not be the same as they were before COVID-19. Global's Tim Sargeant explains.

These are tough times for the owner of Chez Alexandre on Peel Street.

Revenues at the Montreal French bistro landmark have dropped by $300,000 in six weeks according to owner Alain Creton.

Creton expects the losses to continue piling up in the near future.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Municipalities ask feds for $10B to maintain vital services

“There’s no revenue and then you have to pay the rent and the tax on top of that,” Creton told Global News Friday.

But he’s one of the lucky ones. Creton’s 42-year-old business has no debt and he’s able to ride out the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.

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“Some people — I don’t know what they’re going to do,” he said.

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As the Quebec government ponders ways to lift the lockdown and keep people safe, many business owners are anxious to reopen their doors.

Debbie Donelle owns Lingerie DEBra in Pointe-Claire and the Monkland Village.

She says she’s ready to enforce social distancing by allowing only a limited number of people in the Pointe-Claire shop.

READ MORE: Closed Ecomuseum Zoo cares for animals without revenue under COVID-19 shutdown

For now, she’s relying on loyal clients to purchase products from her business online.

“I have fantastic clients so that helps generate revenue and I keep saying every little bit helps pay the rent,” she told Global News via Skype.

The federal government is also weighing in to help small businesses pay their monthly bills.

READ MORE: Trudeau announces rent relief of 75% for small businesses affected by coronavirus

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government will cover 50 per cent of monthly leases. He’s requiring landlords to absorb 25 per cent. That would leave business owners with monthly leases to cover the remaining 25 per cent.

The lease subsidy is retroactive to April; and would apply to May and June.

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Welcome news for business owners like Creton and Donelle who just hope some measures to relax the economic lock down will occur in time for the busy summer shopping months.