The Manitoba government will be making a fourth round of Manitoba Bridge Grant payments up to $5,000 for eligible businesses and organizations to help protect them through the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We delayed the third wave coming into Manitoba and now we have to shorten the time it is here. That is why on Friday we introduced new, strict public health measures to curb the spread of the variants and reduce the strain on our health-care system,” said Manitoba’s Premier Brian Pallister. “We recognize this quick closure for many businesses will have a significant impact on their operations, particularly the restaurant industry who we know were preparing for a busy Mother’s Day weekend. Our government remains committed to delivering the right programs at the right times to help individual Manitobans and businesses through these challenging times.”
Through a fourth round of payments, the province will provide up to $71 million in immediate financial support to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, not-for-profits and charities impacted by the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System. This brings the total program investment to $286 million, which is $86 million above the province’s original commitment of $200 million. Eligible businesses that received prior bridge grant payments (either to businesses ordered to close completely to in-person transactions due to critical-level restrictions or home-based businesses affected by gathering limits and restrictions) will automatically receive a fourth payment of up to $5,000 beginning as early as Friday, May 14 and will be notified of the deposit via email.
The province also announced an additional $2,000 top-up for restaurants in addition to the $5,000 Manitoba Bridge Grant payment to help cover the costs of food waste, employee wages, maintenance or insurance. Approximately 1,800 restaurants will benefit from this assistance, totalling $3.6 million.
An additional $2 million will also be provided to the Dine-In Restaurant Relief program to help restaurants shift their operations toward a delivery model. The Dine-in Restaurant Relief Program, administered by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce in partnership with the Manitoba Restaurant and Foodservices Association, launched in January 2021 to provide a rebate to dine-in restaurants that shifted to a delivery model due to public health restrictions. The program helps offset costs related to delivery services, whether a restaurant provides its own delivery service or uses a third-party delivery company