Manitoba small businesses abandoned


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This article was published 18/02/2021 (831 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

As we navigate into the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to see a complete lack of planning, consultation, and supports for small businesses in Manitoba by the Pallister government.

We know the impact of this ineffective leadership is being felt across the province, and it is also having a significant impact on our community of Fort Garry.

Now that restrictions have been relaxed for the next few weeks, some local businesses will be able to reopen and sell non-essential goods. While this is ultimately welcomed news for some local businesses, it ignores the reality that many businesses are unable to reopen. The government must immediately extend the Bridge Grant program for small businesses not yet allowed to re-open, and develop new sector-specific supports so that all Manitobans will be able to withstand the pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, we have witnessed the inability of the government to provide meaningful, immediate, and long-term financial relief to business owners. This has resulted in the closure of businesses, and it will eventually contribute to higher unemployment rates, lower median incomes, and an increased reliability on precarious work for generations to come.

The limited relief offered to small business by the government has been disappointing and insufficient.

This lack of support has further widened the gap between local businesses and big corporations. With the lack of meaningful financial relief, we risk damaging our local economy for years to come at the expense of small businesses.

We have heard from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business that as many as 5,600 small businesses are at risk of closing, and over 100,000 jobs are at stake across Manitoba. This is frightening for our economy, and it is frightening for local community members in Fort Garry.

As finance critic, I have been in constant discussions with stakeholders and local small business owners in Fort Garry and I will continue to advocate for solutions to what is a fixable problem.

In the meantime, with restrictions allowing the sale of non-essential goods, I encourage everyone to shop local as often as they can.

As always, if you are a business owner or have thoughts on this subject please do not hesitate to contact my office by calling 204-421-4241 or emailing

Mark Wasyliw

Mark Wasyliw
Fort Garry constituency report

Mark Wasyliw is the NDP MLA for Fort Garry.

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