Government continues to fail small business


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/10/2020 (949 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Fort Rouge is home to some great businesses and local retail stores — some of Winnipeg’s best restaurants and coffee shops are right here in our neighbourhood. 

Losing renowned and locally-owned Segovia was a major blow to our community.  Small businesses are the backbone of Manitoba’s economy, and we cannot afford to lose any more cherished and family-operated establishments in Fort Rouge. 

As we near the seven-month mark of the pandemic in our province, and an upgrade to the restricted “orange” level, the Pallister government continues to fail small businesses in Fort Rouge and throughout Manitoba.

For now, restaurants and bars remain open; however, Manitoba public health has hinted at more restrictions in the future, putting further pressure on small businesses and the hospitality industry.

It should go without saying that, even if small businesses are able to remain open, their ability to stay afloat will be a challenge. As winter approaches, patio season will mostly come to an end and restaurants and bars will find it harder to find creative ways to allow for social distancing while remaining profitable. Without additional government support, the costs of extra cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment could break a small-business budget and force it to close. More job loss is the last thing our Manitoba economy needs to recover from the pandemic.

The Pallister government’s financial relief for these vital parts of Manitoba’s economy has been underwhelming at best.

It is well past time for the provincial government to develop a strong strategy to offer help to the hospitality industry, as well as for other small businesses, as nearly half of recent Winnipeg cases have been linked to these sites. Not only would that allow us to help flatten the curve and ease restrictions more quickly, it would save jobs and keep the economy flowing in Manitoba.

It is in the best interest of all Manitobans that small businesses survive the pandemic. Government relief to keep our local economy alive will ultimately benefit us all in the long run. I will continue to push the government to do its part to keep all Fort Rouge and Manitoba families safe and financially secure. Our recovery depends on it.

Do you own a business or have thoughts on how government could support small businesses at this time? Contact my office at 204-615-1922 or email me at

Wab Kinew

Wab Kinew
Fort Rouge constituency report

Wab Kinew is the NDP MLA for Fort Rouge and leader of the Manitoba New Democratic Party.

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