FAST FIVE FOR BUSINESS: October Update

October 6, 2021

The Winnipeg Chamber’s Director of Policy, Colin Fast, highlights five things Winnipeg businesses should be aware of this week:

City extends COVID parking and winter patio programs

The City of Winnipeg will continue to offer one hour of complimentary parking at all metered locations until December 31, 2021. Temporary curbside pickup zones for businesses located downtown or in the Exchange District will also remain in place until the end of the year. Extending these programs was a recommendation in The Winnipeg Chamber’s submission to the city regarding pandemic economic recovery.

The City is also extending its temporary patio permit program through the winter. Note that approvals of summer operation of a temporary patio do not transfer forward and will expire on October 31, 2021. Businesses will need to review the requirements for winter operation and submit a new registration. Full details can be found at http://www.winnipeg.ca/temporarypatio.

Hear directly from the City at our Small Business Summit

Our small business community continued to prove its resilience by meeting countless challenges presented during this pandemic. But moving forward, how can business and City Hall work together to continue to drive small businesses forward?

Join us for our free Small Business Summit on October 18th, and hear directly from Mayor Brian Bowman, Finance Chair Scott Gillingham, and other officials from the City of Winnipeg about how they’re trying to support economic recovery and bolster our city’s downtown. Register today.

Healthy Hire program extension

The Manitoba government is extending the Healthy Hire Manitoba Program to November 15, and the application deadline to October 30. Under this program, local employers can apply for up to $50,000 in provincial support to help cover the wages of new employees who can attest they have been vaccinated, intend to be vaccinated or are unable to be vaccinated. Eligible employers will receive a grant equivalent to 50 % of wages for a maximum of 10 employees, with a maximum of $5,000 per employee. The wage support covers full pay periods for employees hired on or after June 10, with the last pay period ending Nov. 15.

Debt, digital disruption and supply chain issues are big concerns for small business

The majority of Canadian small businesses survived the pandemic, but their journey to a full recovery is far from complete. To put the crisis behind them, they’ll have to contend with its after-effects: added debt loads, supply-chain disruptions and labour shortages—not to mention the spectre of further COVID waves. These are some of the big challenges for small business identified in a new report from RBC Economics.

Join our Policy Pools

Are you interested in becoming more involved in the Chamber’s policy process? Want to become an advocate for your industry, or the Winnipeg business community as a whole? Our new Policy Pools will give you the chance to shape the Chamber’s position on important regulatory and legislative issues, and inform our conversations with local decision makers.

Policy pools will be formed based on industry or subject area (e.g. taxation, red tape reduction, municipal permitting, downtown revitalization, procurement). When an issue comes up that impacts your industry or subject area we’ll reach out through email or an online poll to get your feedback to help inform the Chamber’s position. There are no regular meetings to attend.

When required, we’ll also draw on the policy pools to form a task force or working group to dig deeper on a specific issue and prepare a formal policy position for approval by the Chamber board.

To join one of our Policy Pools, please email Colin Fast, Director of Policy, at [email protected]. Include information on what industry you work in, and any particular policy areas in which you have expertise or interest.