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

Dear Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Member,

Federal budget 2021: highlights

On Monday, April 19, the federal government announced its 2021 budget. This year’s proposed budget includes several items that could affect businesses, including:

  • Extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021
  • A new Canada Recovery Hiring Program for eligible employers that would include a subsidy for the extra costs employers take on as they reopen
  • Supporting small- and medium-sized businesses through transformative programs such as support for adopting new technologies. The Canada Digital Adoption Program will not only help businesses adopt the new tech that will help them grow but also provide businesses with advice to help them get the most out of these technologies
  • Improvements to the Canada Small Business Financing Program to help small businesses access the capital they need to recover, innovate, and grow in the long-term
  • Supporting the recovery of the tourism sector by providing funds to tourism businesses and supporting festivals and cultural events
  • Providing supports to women, Black Canadians and other underrepresented entrepreneurs through initiatives like the Black Entrepreneurship Program & the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy
  • Lowering the cost of doing business by reducing credit card transaction fees

The details of these programs have yet to be released. We will keep you updated as soon as we have more information.

Given how important downtowns are to our nation’s economy and how much we’ve seen them struggle, we’re disappointed there are no targeted supports for our city centres in the federal budget. We are continuing to advocate to all levels of government, for more support for our downtown.

To view the full list of budget priorities, read the federal budget 2021 news release.

25M in trust to redevelop the Hudson's Bay Building

Provincial budget 2021: funds for Hudson’s Bay building

Announced as part of the provincial budget on April 7, the Manitoba government has established The Bay Building Fund to support projects that will restore, preserve or maintain the heritage elements of the historic downtown Hudson’s Bay Company building.

On Monday, April 19, the Manitoba Government provided an update on The Bay Building Fund, being held in trust by the Winnipeg Foundation.

The funds could be used on eligible projects, including:

  • Conservation & restoration projects
  • Capital repairs, such as structural repairs
  • Creation & installation of window exhibitions

The Province says that any funds not used by the March 31, 2031 deadline will be transferred to the heritage resources endowment fund to support other heritage buildings.

While it was sad to see The Bay close its doors last year, we know this almost 100-year-old building holds many possibilities for adding to the vibrancy of our downtown. We will continue to advocate for a redevelopment plan that is right for our downtown community.

Provincial budget 2021: other highlights

In addition to the announcement of The Bay Building Fund, the provincial budget outlined some financial commitments that could help benefit and support small businesses through COVID-19 recovery.

Here are some budget highlights:

provincial budget highlights

We will keep you updated when more information becomes available. For more information, read the full budget news release or visit the 2021 Manitoba budget page.

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

Thank you,

Kate Fenske, CEO
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ