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

Dear Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Member,

As we continue to navigate this challenging time together, we’re committed to sharing the programs and supports available to you. We hope we’re making it a little easier by sharing relevant information with you and helping to guide you through the process.

We know businesses need help. We’re glad to be able to share with you that the federal government has launched a new rent subsidy program to help small businesses, and the provincial government is helping to amplify the “support local” message with a new campaign.

Applications are open for rent relief program

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) will provide rent and mortgage support to small businesses affected by COVID-19. You can apply now through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

You must meet these four eligibility requirements:

1. Meet at least one of the following conditions:
a. CRA businesses number on Sept. 27, 2020
b. Had a payroll account on March 15, 2020
c. Purchased business assets who meet the conditions above

2. Are an eligible business, charity, or non-profit. This would include individual businesses, some corporations, and registered charities.

3. Experienced a drop in revenue.
a. There is no minimum drop required to qualify for the subsidy. The rate your revenue has dropped is only used to calculate how much subsidy you receive for these periods.

4. Have eligible expenses.

The subsidy is available on a sliding scale (with a maximum subsidy rate of 65%) for businesses that can demonstrate a revenue loss up until December 19, 2020. An additional top-up of 25% (with a maximum possible subsidy of 90%) is available for organizations temporarily shut down by the mandatory public health order.

More information on the program can be found on the CRA’s website. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about the application process.

CERS is a new program that replaces CECRA, which ended on September 30, 2020.

Your business could be featured in the #ShopLocalMB campaign!

#ShopLocalMB is a digital campaign that will appear on the Manitoba government’s social media channels and highlights the important role Manitobans play in supporting local businesses during this difficult time.

The campaign’s creative materials tell stories of Manitoba businesses, entrepreneurs, makers and creators. The province is looking for businesses to feature in the campaign. If you’d like to be featured or if you’d like to nominate a fellow downtown business, contact The messages will reinforce reminders of how to shop safely, which includes using delivery, in-store pickup or drive-thru options whenever possible.

COVID-19 survey #6: Let us know what you need right now

We’re listening and we’ve got your back. If you haven’t already done so, we’re asking members to fill out a short 5-10 minute survey to understand how you’re doing and how the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ can help. We’ll use the results to share with government as part of our advocacy efforts and help us develop our next grant programs. Please fill out the current survey by 4:00 p.m. tomorrow (November 24).

survey incentive

Everyone who fills out the survey can enter a draw for a gift card to any downtown Winnipeg business. It's an easy way to support a neighbour!

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

Thank you,

Kate Fenske, CEO
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ