The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is calling on the provincial government to offer shuttered businesses more financial assistance after having to remain closed for two more weeks.
The province on Wednesday tweaked its public health orders to allow for small gatherings but didn’t waver on allowing food-based businesses to open patios or offer dine-in service, nor for personal services to reopen, such as hair salons.
“We understand Manitobans need social connection right now and we support some easing of restrictions,” says Kate Fenske, CEO of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ.
“But keeping businesses closed for another two weeks while the majority have operated safely and responsibly without any additional financial support has a significant and widespread impact.”
Fenske noted businesses have been provided with four installments of the Bridge Grant program, but more needs to be done for this latest round of extended closures.
“More support is needed as nearly 50 businesses have closed in our zone since the pandemic started. Many people employed in the hospitality and service sectors remain out of work and each closure impacts the future of our downtown.”
Aside from government grants, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ has been supporting businesses in their area with more than $180,000 in micro-grants through its Connect Grant program.