Small business owners still struggling
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This article was published 26/05/2021 (737 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Small business owners have helped sustain our economy throughout the pandemic. They have pivoted through various health orders and have invested thousands of dollars into supplies to operate safely. We thank all small business owners for their ongoing efforts to keep Manitobans safe.
Manitoba has some of the highest COVID-19 infection rates per capita, which has led to new restrictions closing down or limiting the operations of restaurants, gyms, retail stores, salons, and many other businesses. Yet, the most recent announcement of supports by the Pallister government completely fails the sector.
Since November, the Manitoba Bridge Grant program has only offered small businesses supports up to the amount of $5,000, per round. The government recently announced a fourth round of payments but the amount of support has not changed, even though challenges have compounded for small business over the last six months.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says that one-third of small businesses in Manitoba are not making their normal revenue, and have incurred, on average, $180,000 in debts. The PC government is fully aware of these statistics but is unwilling to increase supports and also create sector-specific ones. Their blanket approach has continued to leave small businesses behind.
Small business owners in Manitoba deserve comprehensive resources to withstand the third wave. This is not a time to be fixated on the bottom line – we need to do all that we can to ensure small businesses come out stronger post-pandemic.
The lack of support for small businesses is matched with the Pallister government refusing to release its economic roadmap to recovery. The future of small businesses in Forty Garry and across Manitoba is concerning. The government has said it’s working on a roadmap but it has yet to share this information with small business owners, including those in Fort Garry.
My colleagues and I have repeatedly called on the province to increase small business supports, as well as release the roadmap that includes small business owners. I encourage everyone in Fort Garry to support our local businesses as often as you can – they need us now more than ever. If you would like to share your concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at 204-421-4241 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Fort Garry constituency report
Mark Wasyliw is the NDP MLA for Fort Garry.