When the pandemic struck, the West Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce (WIMCC) had to chance its protocols to adapt to the needs of its business members.
“We realized we had to address different needs and become advocates for the business community in helping them deal with the different levels of government funding available for those in need due to COVID 19,” WIMCC Executive Director and President Joseph Huza told The Suburban.
The WIMCC held a number of seminars in the spring and early summer that “were designed to help businesses in this new era.”
What Huza and the broad has noticed is that for some of the businesses that did not survive the global shutdown and subsequent recession caused by the coronavirus, “we just did not hear any more from those that unfortunately failed.
“However, some area manufacturers were able to re-brand themselves and began making PPEs,” said Huza. “Some companies are finding opportunities as they adapt to this new reality.”
The chamber has also adapted its practices to aid their members by helping them to complete export certifications on-line instead of going to their offices in person.
The WIMCC has been hearing form its members that “the coronavirus has been terrible for a lot of businesses but you can learn from a crisis. For example, some restaurants have told us that they are doing better business via home delivery than in house visits,” said Huza.
Huza said that looking ahead the next six months to a year, he expects “the lost 20% of GDP that the country has seen during the pandemic will recover but it could be long and drawn out.”
The chamber has also been advocating for that new REM project will extend from the airport to the VIA rails station, a distance of 700 metres.
The seven hundred metre extension the city is requesting to connect the upcoming REM station with the current EXO, VIA and STM station located near the roundabout circle.
The extension is something that Dorval Mayor Edgar Rouleau has also campaigned for numerous times, namely at a press conference in May 2019.