The Manitoba government is extending the Manitoba Bridge Grant application deadline until Jan. 31 and expanding eligibility to offer financial support and protection for more small businesses through the current public health orders, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.
“Small businesses, charities and not-for-profit organizations continue to do their part to protect the health and safety of Manitobans and follow the restrictions under the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System,” said Pallister. “As expanded public health restrictions are necessary to protect Manitobans and reduce COVID-19 cases, we are extending the Manitoba Bridge Grant to help more businesses make it through this critical time and eases some of their financial pressures.”
To reflect the extension of the public health orders announced Jan. 8 and to ensure small and medium-sized businesses, not-for-profits and charities get the support they need, the province is inviting businesses to apply for the Manitoba Bridge Grant until Jan. 31, 2021.
Pallister also confirmed eligibility has been expanded for hotels, resorts, lodges and outfitters, travel agencies, janitorial services companies and owner/operators of licensed passenger transportation businesses that have seen demand for their services impacted by the public health orders.
The province first announced the Manitoba Bridge Grant Nov. 10, 2020, to provide $5,000 up-front to businesses, not-for-profits and charities directly impacted by the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System and temporarily ordered to close their storefronts to the public. The province announced a program expansion Dec. 8, 2020 to support home-based businesses indirectly impacted by Manitoba COVID-19 public health orders, with up to $5,000 based on 10 per cent of their most recent calendar year revenues.
The province had committed to providing an equal second payment if public health orders remained in place past Jan. 1, 2021. Those payments were made between Jan. 8 and 10 and recipients notified of the deposit via email.
To date, the Manitoba Bridge Grant program has paid approximately $104 million to 10,740 eligible applicants, which includes the first payment Nov. 16 to Dec. 31 and second deposits this past week. The total includes approximately $94 million to over 9,400 store-front businesses that received two $5,000 up-front payments. It also includes approximately $10 million to more than 1,300 home-based businesses in two equal payments of up to $5,000. The average payment to home-based businesses is $3,605, or a total of $7,210 on average to each business.
Beginning Jan. 12, new applicants to the Manitoba Bridge Grant that were ordered to close their premises will be entitled to a one-time payment of $10,000, whereas eligible home-based business applicants will receive a maximum payment of $10,000.
“Our government remains committed to delivering the right programs at the right times in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to help individual Manitobans and businesses through these challenges,” said Pallister. “Manitoba is providing one of the most broad-based, accessible and generous business support programs in Canada.”
Pallister noted the province has committed approximately $420 million in COVID-19 supports to Manitoba businesses this fiscal year through programs such as the Manitoba Bridge Grant, Manitoba Gap Protection Plan, Back to Work in Manitoba Wage Subsidy and measures such as the elimination of the provincial sales tax (PST) on property insurance and Manitoba Public Insurance rebates.
This 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 this month.
More information about the Manitoba Bridge Grant is available at https://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).
Manitobans can learn more about COVID-19 supports for businesses at https://manitoba.ca/supportsforbusiness.
(News Release – Manitoba)