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“What we’ve learned is that in certain hard-hit sectors, it was more difficult for businesses to have access to capital through financial institutions, and that’s why they came up to us,” Joly said in an interview.
For instance, in northern Ontario, half of the businesses supported to date are in the tourism sector, she said.
“We’re seeing that all over Canada.”
Money has also gone to startup companies that need investment to stay afloat, she added.
“That was key, because we need to keep our innovation and our competitive edge, notwithstanding the pandemic.”
Joly said she’s also aware that major downtown cores are “really going through difficult times right now, and we’re looking at solutions.”
The minister said she spoke with chambers of commerce in several big cities this week to see what the government can do to help.