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

Dear Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Member,

We’re all in this together. We’ve heard this along with “now, more than ever” so many times it feels like 2020’s catch phrase. But, it’s true. Downtown businesses are united together to try and flatten the curve and we couldn’t be more proud of our members for facing challenge after challenge and doing your part to protect the community.

With the recent extension of the public health orders into the new year, we know you need more help and we’ll keep advocating on your behalf. In the meantime, we’ve included the government supports currently available below and want you to know we are also very close to launching Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s newest grant program announced at our AGM a couple of weeks ago. We’ll let you know the details as soon as we have it finalized and ready to go.

Province extends the Critical (red) level until January 8, 2021

On December 8, the province announced the existing Critical (red) level restrictions have been extended until January 8, 2021, with some minor adjustments. Changes to the public health orders include:

  • Allowing thrift stores to open with some capacity limits, to allow access to second-hand clothing and other items.
  • Allowing acupuncture and manual osteopathy practices to open to align with similar health services.
  • Adding school supplies as an essential item under the restrictions to retail services;
  • Allowing for the seasonal sale of holiday decorations such as garlands and ornaments, and religious items like menorahs and candles.
  • Clarifying the outdoor gathering guidance: people not from the same household need to keep two metres of distance between them and that gathering sizes must not exceed five people.
  • Allowing drive-in events as a temporary measure subject in compliance with the restrictions. Cars must contain members from one household only and no one may leave the car while at the event.
  • Permitting the Winnipeg Jets to train in Manitoba in preparation for an eventual NHL decision on a 2021 playing season.

Province expands Manitoba Bridge Grant, extends deadline and adds second round

The Province announced an extension to the deadline to apply for the Manitoba Bridge Grant. It will also be expanded to include home-based businesses.

When the Province first announced the Bridge Grant, they mentioned a potential second payment if the restrictions were extended. Now that that’s happened, the province will automatically process the additional funds. If you already received the funding, you do not need to apply again – you will automatically receive the extra funding.

The new deadline for applications for the Manitoba Bridge Grant is Dec. 31. If you have not yet applied, please visit the Manitoba Bridge Grant website.

Other government supports available

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

  • Canadian businesses that have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for subsidy to cover part of their rent or property taxes
  • Applications open until June 2021

Canada Emergency Wages Subsidy (CEWS)

  • Canadian employers who have seen a drop in revenue may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages
  • Changes to the program were announced November 19 including an extension to June 2021.

Lockdown Support

  • Additional funds from the federal government are available to businesses that have had to close or significantly limit their business activities as a result of public health orders
  • Funds are retroactive to September 27, 2020, until June 2021

Other federal financial support, loans, etc. Visit this page for information on financial supports including:

  • The Canada Emergency Business Account
  • Regional Relief and Recovery Funds
  • Support for Indigenous businesses
  • Black Entrepreneurship Program
  • Large employer financing

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

Thank you,

Kate Fenske, CEO
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ