Expansion to Popular PPE App Includes Health and Safety Services:  Eichler

With support from the Manitoba government, the B2B Manitoba health and safety online marketplace is being expanded to allow businesses and not-for-profits to contract health and safety services, Economic Development and Training Minister Ralph Eichler announced today.

“The Manitoba government has worked together closely with our local business community and industry partners to help tailor this app to industry needs,” said Eichler. “These enhancements will help connect businesses to the health and safety services they require to operate, which will help local businesses transition to economic recovery and restart our provincial economy.”

The B2BManitoba.ca app was developed by the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), the Manitoba and Winnipeg chambers of commerce and North Forge Technology Exchange. B2B Manitoba was launched in May to help connect Manitoba businesses with non-medical grade personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies needed to operate safely. The province has provided $422,000 in support for the app including enhancements. Since its introduction, more than 1,700 users have already accessed the tool and new users are joining daily to access more than 1,000 listings.

“Manitoba manufacturers have stepped up to the plate in a big way. Not only has the sector kept our economy running as an essential service, many manufacturers have retooled to provide the critical PPE and health and safety products we need to keep our economy operating safely,” said Ron Koslowsky, vice-president, CME. “B2B Manitoba offers a way for businesses across the province to enhance local supply chains as we help one another through the next phase of the pandemic.”

Recent enhancements now allow businesses to contract health and safety services, such as product installation, laundry, cleaning and disinfection. In addition to the opportunity to list and access health and safety services, the enhanced tool now includes:
•    a helpful home page explanation video;
•    the ability to save search queries, page places and filters for an improved user experience that allows visitors to more easily browse and navigate the site; and
•    manufacturing location, shipping time and ships-from data.

“Early on in the pandemic, Manitoba business leaders expressed concerns about PPE availability, and B2B Manitoba launched quickly to address those concerns,” says Chuck Davidson, president and CEO, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. “As our economy restarts, it’s critical for businesses to have access to PPE to operate safely, and for manufacturers and suppliers to connect. These enhancements to the app make it even easier for users to locate what they need.”

Additional enhancements also encourage vendors to list smaller lot sizes, which in turn will help small businesses operate on a just-in-time basis and manage inventory.

“As our province started to reopen, our members made it clear sourcing PPE was a huge challenge,” says Loren Remillard, president and CEO, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. “B2B Manitoba was a critical resource for businesses at a critical time and enhancements to the platform continue to make it an essential part of any reopening plan.”

Developed by Winnipeg-based firm Permission Click, B2B Manitoba is secured with the same level of encryption used by leading financial institutions and government agencies so businesses and suppliers can be assured their data is fully protected when using the site.

“Manitoba has led the way in creating this unique platform that helps all Manitobans,” said Joelle Foster, CEO, North Forge Technology Exchange. “I want to stress that this is available for any business, including not for profits, schools and daycares. These enhancements are timely, as there has been more demand for services in relation to COVID-19.  We all have a part to play in reducing the spread of the virus and ensuring the well-being of everyone.”

For more information on the B2B Manitoba app, visit www.b2bmanitoba.ca.

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