Today, the provincial government announced it will reopen the Manitoba Bridge Grant program to provide an estimated $5 million in support for seasonal businesses, new applicants and others affected by public health restrictions.

The province opened the bridge grant intake to businesses that did not previously apply, such as new and seasonal businesses that were not operating as of the original Nov. 10 program deadline. Eligible storefront businesses (stream A) will receive $5,000 and home-based businesses (stream B) will receive up to $5,000 based on 10 per cent of their most recent calendar year revenues. Nearly 1,000 businesses may be eligible, estimated Finance Minister Scott Fielding.

The Manitoba Bridge Grant program has provided more than $291 million to over 15,000 private enterprises, not-for-profit organizations and registered charities affected by the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System since November 2020. The program offered four rounds of grants up to $5,000 with many eligible businesses receiving up to $20,000 total, and in May, the province provided a $2,000 top-up to nearly 1,800 restaurants to compensate for food wastage, as restaurants had pre-ordered supplies for the Mother’s Day weekend when public health orders closed dining rooms.

The province is also extending the $2,000 food waste top-up to new applicants, as well as previous bridge grant recipients that offer prepared food services but did not receive the May 15 deposit as it was only provided to restaurants. Approximately 600 businesses that offer prepared food services, such as hotels, lodges, outfitters, bars and lounges, will automatically receive the $2,000 top-up June 25.

A new applicant that offers prepared food services would receive a $5,000 grant plus the $2,000 top-up for a total of $7,000. New applicants will not receive retroactive payments for previous rounds of the program, and businesses that previously received a Manitoba Bridge Grant or whose application was rejected are ineligible to reapply for the $5,000 payment.

Businesses are invited to check eligibility and apply for a Manitoba Bridge Grant at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/programs/bridge-grant.html by a deadline of July 16.

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