Total commitment increased to $215 M. to protect Manitoba businesses during pandemic: Pallister
The Manitoba government is increasing its budget for the Manitoba Bridge Grant and making a third round of payments to help protect businesses in the province from the impacts of COVID-19, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.
“As the pandemic and public health orders continue to impact businesses, we are increasing our budget by $15 million for the Manitoba Bridge Grant to help create a bridge for businesses through this challenging time,” said Pallister. “We are focused on creating an environment for a sustained reopening of our economy so that businesses can reopen safely and stay open. We continue to work side-by-side with all businesses to help them get back to doing what they do best – create jobs for Manitobans and offer the services Manitobans rely on.”
Through a third round of payments, the province will provide up to $67 million in immediate support to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, not-for-profits and charities impacted by the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System. This brings the total program investment to $215 million, which is $15 million above the province’s original commitment of $200 million. The province has also extended the Manitoba Bridge Grant application deadline until March 31.
Eligible businesses that received a first and second bridge grant payment, each worth up to $5,000, will automatically receive a third equal payment beginning as early as Friday, March 5 and will be notified of the deposit via email. New program applicants will be eligible for a one-time immediate payment to a maximum of $15,000.
“This additional payment will help cover the impact of public health orders on operating costs pending the careful reopening of our province, as well as help businesses with reopening costs as we safely loosen public health orders,” said Pallister. “We recognize and appreciate the sacrifices our business community has made to keep all Manitobans safe and the crucial role it plays in our safe reopening plans.”
The province created the Manitoba Bridge Grant in November 2020 to provide $5,000 upfront to businesses, not-for-profits and charities directly affected by public health restrictions and temporarily ordered to close their storefronts to the public. It expanded the program Dec. 8, 2020, to support home-based businesses indirectly impacted by public health orders, offering up to $5,000 based on 10 per cent of their most recent calendar year revenues. The province expanded program eligibility Jan. 8 to include hotels, resorts, lodges and outfitters, travel agencies, janitorial services companies and owner/operators of licensed passenger transportation businesses that saw demand for their services impacted by public health orders.
To date, the Manitoba Bridge Grant program has paid approximately $134 million to 14,775 eligible applicants. This includes approximately $117 million to more than 11,700 storefront businesses and organizations, and $17 million to more than 2,400 home-based businesses.
More information about the Manitoba Bridge Grant is available at: www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/programs/bridge-grant.html.
Businesses that require assistance in completing the online form can contact Manitoba Government Inquiry at 204-945-3744 or 1-866-MANITOBA (1-866-626-4862).