The Manitoba government is extending the Manitoba Bridge Grant application deadline until January 31, and is expanding eligibility to offer financial support and protection for more small businesses through the current public health orders.
Premier Brian Pallister says, small businesses, charities and not-for-profit organizations continue to do their part to protect the health and safety of Manitobans, "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."
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 November 10, 2020, to provide $5,000 up-front to businesses, not-for-profits and charities directly impacted by the current health restrictions ordered to close their storefronts to the public. The province announced a program expansion December 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 January. 1, 2021.
Beginning January 12, new applicants to the Manitoba Bridge Grant 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.
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.