Earlier today, the provincial government enacted a new public health order that requires the closure of several types of businesses in an effort to fight the spread of COVID-19. It’s expected these orders will be in place for at least four weeks.
Which businesses are impacted?
Non-critical retailers, hair and beauty salons, bars and restaurants, gyms and fitness centres, sports facilities, casinos, museums, galleries, libraries, movie theatres, concert halls and churches are all required to close their doors to the public effective today. These businesses can continue to provide products or services through pickup and delivery methods.
Retail businesses listed as critical services — including grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, pet supply stores, appliance retailers, office supply stores, gas stations, butcher shops, bakeries, and convenience stores — can remain open at 25 per cent capacity.
Non-retail businesses are generally allowed to continue operating but must close their doors to members of the public. A full list of business restrictions is included in the public health order. READ MORE
New Manitoba Bridge Grant Program
On Tuesday, the province announced the creation of the Manitoba Bridge Grant which will provide a one-time grant of $5,000 to small and medium-sized businesses, non-profits and charities that were ordered to temporarily cease operations or close their physical locations by today’s public-health orders. Applications will open on Monday, November 16th. READ MORE
This new grant was created in direct response to requests from the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and other business groups to adapt the province’s financial assistance programs to respond to the second wave of COVID-19.
In the Chamber’s Fall Business Conditions Survey conducted earlier this month we found 79% of respondents — across all industries — agreed the province should provide financial support to the hardest hit sectors of the economy. These results were shared with the provincial government last week.
To read the full survey results, including how businesses are coping with the pandemic and what additional supports they’d like to see from government, CLICK HERE.
Additional financial assistance
We’ve catalogued several additional sources of financial assistance that could be options for businesses impacted by these new closure orders. FIND OUT MORE.
Of particular note, the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy program and the Lockdown Support top-up could cover up to 90% of rent and property expenses. These programs should begin accepting applications within the next few weeks.