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Manitoba Dips into Rainy Day Fund for Further Business Supports

March 30, 2021 9:40 AM | News

Scott Fielding

Manitoba Finance Minister Scott Fielding speaks with the media before a meeting with federal and provincial counterparts in Ottawa, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government has dipped into its rainy day fund to help local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finance Minister Scott Fielding announced Tuesday the province has withdrawn $215 million to cover the costs of the Manitoba Bridge Grant program.

The program was created in November 2020 and provides up to $15,000 in financial support for businesses impacted by public health restrictions. Those businesses that applied at the start of the program received three separate payments of $5,000.

“We continue to have nearly $600 million in savings for future rainy days, which provides us with additional resiliency for potential emergencies such as floods or forest fires,” said Fielding.

“Our careful budgeting has allowed us to use some of the money we set aside to cover the costs of the generous support programs we created to help local businesses through this challenging time.”

Fielding says the province will replenish the fund over time as the impacts of the pandemic lessen.

More than $205 million has been paid out to more than 14,000 businesses through the Bridge Grant program to date. The deadline to apply is Wednesday.