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Downtown Winnipeg BIZ: Memo - The latest information for BIZ Members

Dear Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Member,

As I rode around downtown on my bike this weekend, I noticed how many businesses and patios are open, and just how many folks are spending time downtown again. It’s hard to believe it’s been four months (and four surveys!) since the start of the pandemic. While we’re enjoying many of the activities we used to, it’s clear pandemic safety precautions are top of mind. While picking up my ice cream at Fête Ice Cream & Coffee, I followed their floor decals to ensure spacing and used the hand sanitizer they had available at the door. While shopping, I noted The Bay fitting rooms are open and clothing that folks have tried on but decided not to purchase are hung on a rack until there’s enough time in between customers trying clothes on. Not only do these measures help keep your customers and employees safe, which is one of the priorities members identified in the survey, but their visibility helps build trust with your customers. To help you with establishing trust, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is planning to launch the #OpenwithCare campaign in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more details!

COVID-19 Survey #4 results show members are feeling good about the future

Thank you to everyone who filled out our survey last week. We are sharing the key findings related to your concerns about reopening and generating income, and how the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ can support you. We appreciate your feedback and are thank you for taking our most recent survey, completed by over 75 BIZ members (infographic summary below)...

Downtown Winnipeg BIZ: latest survey results [infographic]

Members told us that if circumstances remain the same, the future of their business looks positive. While this is great news, we know that there are still challenges. Catching up on debt accumulated during the shutdown and lack of customer traffic are the top challenges with generating income right now. The results also showed that encouraging downtown workers to transition their employees back to the office remains the most valuable support the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ can provide. In addition to working with employers and major office buildings, we’ve launched Fitness in the Park and Downtown Sounds Concert Series to give folks some valuable and entertaining programming to participate in during their work day.

Provincial and Federal wage subsidy changes

The provincial wage subsidy program designed to support economic recovery by helping employers bring back their employees or take on new hires has been expanded. If you’re eligible for the program, you may now have support to hire up to 10 employees.

Visit the Back to Work in Manitoba Wage Subsidy Program website for more information on eligibility and to apply.

On the federal side, proposed changes to the pandemic wage subsidy would extend the program until the end of the year and open it up to more businesses. The subsidy would do away with the requirement that businesses prove a 30 per cent decrease in revenue to qualify. Visit the Government of Canada website for more information.

We’re encouraging downtown workers to come back

Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is working to provide valuable programming and exciting initiatives downtown, to help encourage folks to spend time exploring here once again. As part of our downtown promotion, there’s an opportunity to help promote your business by offering a buy one get one, a small discount or deal for downtown workers. We’ll take care of spreading the word! Contact us:

Winnipeg transit resuming service in August

Summer transit service is set to be restored over the August long weekend, with regular weekday service resuming on Aug. 4, opening up more options for folks to get downtown. To help the safety of passengers and transit staff, people are being asked to wear non-medical masks while riding the bus.

Parking downtown is still complimentary for an hour on weekdays, all day on Sundays and for two hours each Saturday.

Pink curbside pickup zones

You may have noticed some curbs around downtown are painted bright pink. We’ve made these areas available to folks who are still taking advantage of curbside pick-up options from restaurants and retailers. Please let us know if you have any feedback on these curbside pick-up locations, if you think they’re helpful and valuable to your business, or if you have concerns. Email:

pink curbside pickup zones

As always, please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions:

Thank you,

Kate Fenske, CEO
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ