FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 13, 2020

B2B Manitoba Will Assist Businesses with Re-opening and Economic Recovery: Pallister

The Manitoba government has partnered with the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the Manitoba and Winnipeg Chambers of Commerce, and North Forge Technology Exchange to support the development and launch of an online marketplace to connect Manitoba businesses with non-medical grade personal protective equipment (PPE) and other materials needed for businesses to operate, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“Our government has heard from the business community that they need help to access supplies needed to enable them to open and operate safely during the pandemic,” said Pallister. “We are proud to join forces with our trusted partners in the business and technology community to launch B2B Manitoba, a tool which will connect businesses with suppliers.”

The province has provided a grant of $422,000 to the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, who have commissioned North Forge Technology Exchange to develop and launch the online marketplace B2BManitoba.ca. This tool is a made-in-Manitoba solution that addresses a need identified by Manitoba businesses as they transition to economic recovery phases of COVID-19.

“The manufacturing sector, key to Manitoba’s economy, has stepped up in a significant way to make needed protective supplies,” said Ron Koslowsky, Divisional Vice President of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME). “As the association representing manufacturers, CME is pleased to support this valuable initiative which will help businesses, their staff, and customers operate safely as we help get Manitobans back to work.”

“The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce is excited about the opportunity this new tool will create for suppliers in Manitoba and, more importantly, for small business owners that are experiencing significant challenges in re-opening their businesses in a manner that will be safe for both employees and consumers,” said Chuck Davidson, President and CEO of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.

“Ensuring the well-being of employees and customers is the business community’s top priority,” said Loren Remillard, President and CEO of The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. “Having the right equipment and procedures in place enables healthy workplaces and the public confidence needed for all phases of Manitoba’s re-opening plan. We’re proud to be a partner in this innovative approach to match local need with local supply for the benefit of all Manitobans.”

In addition, this online marketplace will support those critical businesses who never closed with restocking needed supplies and will help manufacturers who have re-tooled their current operations to produce PPE and are looking for ways to access a new customer base.

The online marketplace will be monitored by the Manitoba and Winnipeg Chambers of Commerce and the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters to protect against spam and abuse. They will also ensure that any listings for medical grade PPE are re-directed to the provincial government’s PPE portal.

Developed by Winnipeg-based firm Permission Click, B2BManitoba.ca will be secured with the same level of encryption used by leading financial institutions and government agencies, so businesses and suppliers can be assured that their data is fully protected when using the site.

“As a key innovation partner for the province of Manitoba, we are proud to deliver another made-in-Manitoba tech solution,” said Joelle Foster, CEO of North Forge Technology Exchange. “This solution is innovative, and innovation is what North Forge does best.”

“In times of need, Manitobans always face the storm together,” added Pallister. “I want to thank our partners, our business community, and all Manitobans for everything they are doing and continue to do as we fight COVID-19 and work to restore safe services. Because of our collective efforts, we will emerge from this pandemic strong and united.”

For more information about COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19 and a comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at https://manitoba.ca/bg/2020/04/covid19.html.

 

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