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

Good afternoon,

As we head into another week of uncertainty, we understand everyone is figuring out how to operate in a drastically different business environment. For now, this is our new 'normal'. Our goal at the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is to provide you with the answers you need now and to help you prepare for the coming weeks and months.

On the weekend, the provincial government announced some supports for small and medium businesses following the state of emergency declaration. We have provided you with a summary below. We are also connecting with all levels of government to advocate for additional supports that will help you through this time. If there is something specific that you think would help, please let us know:

We continue to share your updates with the community and encourage you to visit our resource page for businesses that includes important information regarding COVID-19 and government support.

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ team is available to help you through this pandemic. Please feel free to reach out anytime.


Provincial Updates

The Manitoba government announced it will extend tax payments and filing deadlines for small and medium businesses with monthly remittances less than 10,000 dollars. The Minister did note that the department will work with businesses who are above the 10,000 dollar cap.

Manitoba Hydro announced they have discontinued all service disconnections related to overdue accounts until further notice.

If you are unable to make payments on your Manitoba Hydro account by the due date, contact them:
• call 1-204-480-5900 (toll-free at 1-888-624-9376).

A credit representative will help you make a payment plan that fits your needs and will refer you to programs that they and other community partners offer.

The Manitoba government has provided a Q&A to further clarify what a state of emergency is and how it affects you and your business. It reminds Manitobans that, as authorized under The Public Health Act, the following measures will be in place for a period of 30 days (until April 18, 2020):

Limiting public gatherings of more than 50 people at any indoor or outdoor place or premises. This includes places of worship, gatherings and family events such as weddings and funerals. This does not apply to a facility where health care or social services are provided. Retail businesses (including grocery or food stores, shopping centres, pharmacies or gas stations) must ensure separation of one to two metres between patrons assembling in the business. Public transportation facilities must also ensure that people assembling at the facility are reasonably able to maintain a separation of one to two metres from others assembling at the facility.

• Limiting hospitality premises where food or alcohol is served, any theatres offering live performances (of music, dance and other art forms) and movie theatres to 50 people or 50 per cent of the capacity of the premises, whichever is lesser. These establishments must be able to ensure social distance of one to two metres between customers.

• Immediate closures of all bingo and gaming events.

• Immediate closure of all wellness centres offering physical activities, gyms, fitness centres and athletic clubs and training facilities.

Full Q&A »

Federal Economic Response

• Businesses seeking support through the Government of Canada's Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) should first contact your financial institution for an assessment of your situation. Financial institutions will refer existing clients to BDC or EDC whose needs extend beyond what is available through the private sector alone. Existing BDC or EDC clients should reach out to their account manager for additional information.

Complete list of federal measures and tips available for businesses.

Safety tips for businesses who are closed

Recommendations to ensure your shop or restaurant remains secure:
• Keep the lights on
• Remove ALL cash and receipts
• Do not leave any valuables clearly visible or accessible
• All safes and tills should be emptied and moved off-site for safe storage
• Keep all cash drawers open to show that nothing is in the drawers
• All ATMs should be emptied and moved off-site for safe storage
• All alcohol products removed from bar and put in secured storage areas (no alcohol left visible from outside)
• Consider posting "NO CASH or Valuables on Premises" signage
• Deactivate all scheduled FOB door openings (ie. Cleaners, deliveries, etc)
• Disconnect all kitchen gas lines from their gas source
• Make regular site visits to monitor your shop/business and to manage inventory and storage conditions (consider scattering the times this is done to not establish a pattern)

• Emergency: 911
• Winnipeg Police Service Non Emergency: 204-986-6222
• Winnipeg Police Service Online reporting
• Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Community Homeless Assistance Team (CHAT): 204-806-5095
• Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Watch Ambassadors (including SafeWalk): 204-958-SAFE (7233)

Take care and be well,

Kate Fenske, CEO
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ