Boisbriand city councillor and business owner Jean-François Hecq, encourages everyone to save the small businesses during COVID-19 storm.

Boisbriand City Councillor says “Buy local-eat local”

Dimitris Ilias

The interview with JF Hecq was not a usual laid-back talk that someone has when times are normal. There was a sense of urgency in his voice, amplified by the interrupted sound and picture of messenger, one among the various platforms in use for online teleconferencing. An online city council meeting had just finished, one of many happening during this crisis.

Boisbriand measures

The city of Boisbriand, in collaboration with the surrounding cities has implemented a slew of measures to protect the citizens and staff as well as make financial burdens a bit lighter for everyone. “We have postponed tax payments for 2 months and there will be no interest charges for late payments” said Hecq, adding that all the municipal buildings are now closed to the public since a lot of municipal employees are working online. All the essential services are maintained with workers’ shifts and rotations adapted to prevent the spread of the virus. The city communicates with everyone via social platforms, the big video panels across the city as well as mailings distributed.

Community mood

J.F. Hecq confirmed that despite the seriousness of the situation, the city hall team is focused and determined. On the citizens side, Mr. Hecq confirmed that the people are following instructions well. Even though the police has increased the patrols to enforce the safety rules set by the Quebec Government, there are very few reports of citizens not complying.

Regular communication of the city with everyone has helped ease anxiety.

Businesses affected

Jean-François’ love for fine Quebec beer, urged him and his friend Maxime Hébert to start a distribution company for Quebec microbrewers. Les distributeurs Brouhh in a very short time grew in renown distributing at present for over 20 fine beer producers.

Although his company, having been deemed an essential service by the Quebec government, hasn’t received the brunt of the COVID-19 storm, there are a lot of businesses in Boisbriand that are suffering.

“Things are very hard for sure. Some restaurants will close down forever. What is important right now is for people to understand that they need to buy from local businesses. Buy local, eat local!” emphasized Hecq. “Amazon and the other online giants will be there after the storm. But your neighborhood grocery, your corner restaurant, even your area franchisee that employs 100 people from the community, those are the businesses that will need everyone’s support.”