Small businesses find ways to serve community
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This article was published 07/12/2020 (907 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
COVID-19 has impacted Manitoba small businesses in a myriad of ways. Constituents in Burrows have shared with me that the small business supports from the Pallister government have failed them.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, small businesses in Manitoba have abided by restrictions, invested their own money into PPE and glass shields, among many other necessary customer and staff supports to keep Manitobans safe and healthy from COVID-19.
Located at 1020 McPhillips St. in Burrows, Genevieve Melegrito offers delicious treats at her business Sugar Blooms and Cakes. Like many small businesses in Burrows and across Manitoba, Genevieve had to close for two months in March and April. She says her business has been significantly impacted throughout the pandemic. With the new restrictions in place, many of her event orders have been cancelled.
That hasn’t stopped Genevieve from offering delicious treats such as regular and custom cakes, cupcakes and macarons for take out. What amazes me about Genevieve and small businesses owners across Manitoba is the determination and perseverance throughout the pandemic to offer great services and goods during this difficult time.
Like other business owners in Burrows, Genevieve worries about being able to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Sadly, small business supports from the Pallister government continue to be underwhelming.
The government underspent its Restart Manitoba program funds by millions of dollars because it designed them to fail. Now its new Bridge Grant program is not comprehensive enough to ensure small businesses can pay some commercial rent costs, be reimbursed for PPE, or support their bottom lines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant also excludes numerous businesses owners who don’t have public storefronts, such as photographers or those in the wedding industry. It is extremely problematic that every support put forward by the Pallister government consistently leaves small businesses behind.
As I said, many small businesses in Burrows have shown immense determination and perseverance throughout the pandemic but these efforts have not been matched by the Pallister government. My NDP colleagues and I know that a recovery that benefits all Manitoba small businesses is possible. We will continue to advocate for the needs expressed to us by small business owners from Burrows and across Manitoba.
Please reach out to my office with your concerns and insights by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 204-415-7621. Our constituency office is located at Unit 1, 995 McPhillips St.
Burrows constituency report
Diljeet Brar is the NDP MLA for Burrows.