Second bridge grant more inclusive

Up to $5,000 in support of Manitoba’s home-based businesses impacted by pandemic restrictions: Pallister

 

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The Manitoba government is expanding its Manitoba Bridge Grant program and extending the deadline to protect more small businesses in the province impacted by current public health restrictions, Premier Brian Pallister announced Tuesday.

“Manitoba’s small businesses continue to make sacrifices to protect the health and safety of Manitobans and follow the restrictions under the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System,” said Pallister. “The Manitoba Bridge Grant is being expanded to help even more of our small businesses make it through this critical time and bridge to the future by covering some of their business costs and financial pressures created by public health orders.”

Announced Nov. 10, the first stream of the Manitoba Bridge Grant provides $5,000 upfront to businesses, not-for-profits and charities ordered to temporarily cease operations or close locations by Manitoba COVID-19 public health orders in effect on Nov. 12. The initial intake included businesses with physical storefronts, such as restaurants, bars, recreation and sport facilities, museums, theatres and organizations such as charities, not-for-profits and faith-based organizations.

As not all businesses operate a storefront, the second stream of the Manitoba Bridge Grant program, which will open its intake at noon tomorrow, Dec. 9, will provide up to $5,000 in support to home-based businesses ineligible for the first round. This may include, but not be limited to, event planners, photographers, artists and tradespeople who do not operate a retail location.

“While the public health restrictions are crucial to protect Manitobans and reduce our COVID-19 cases, the impacts are being felt by businesses directly ordered to close their physical storefronts, as well as home-based businesses who have seen their market and source of income greatly reduced because of public health orders that limit gathering sizes and restrict other activities,” said Pallister.

Eligible full-time businesses that were impacted by Manitoba COVID-19 public health orders in effect as of Nov. 12, 2020, or any revisions to those orders will receive a grant in the amount equal to 10 per cent of their most recent calendar year revenues, to a maximum contribution of $5,000.

“There are a lot of small businesses struggling, especially with the recent shutdowns,” said Spencer Day, president, Brandon Chamber of Commerce. “This is a welcome adjustment to the program and we appreciate the opportunity to continue to work with the government to help direct funds and put plans in place to ensure our business community remains viable over both the short and long terms.”

Since online intake began Nov. 16 for the Manitoba Bridge Grant program, 6,300 businesses have received $31.6 million in payments.

The province has committed up to $250 million initially to protect Manitoba’s business community at this critical time in the pandemic response. This includes $100 million for the Manitoba Bridge Grant program in November and December and a potential second round of $100 million that would provide recipients with a second payment of equal value should current public health restrictions remain in place Jan. 1, 2021.

The support also includes initial supporting funds of up to $50 million for business groups such as the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development Winnipeg to provide a detailed plan to government on long-term recovery funding to help Manitoba businesses adapt and thrive coming out of COVID-19.

The deadline for applications for both streams of the Manitoba Bridge Grant is Dec. 31. To access the application form for stream one now and for the second stream as of tomorrow, visit 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).

 

 

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