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Manitoba: COVID-19 relief measures for your business

We know that this is a difficult time, full of uncertainty. The information you need to run your business changes rapidly, and it can be hard to keep track and make sense of it all.  

In order to relieve some of the pressure on small businesses such as yours, we are gathering all the information you need about government services and supports in Manitoba and putting it in this one location. We will continue working with governments to ensure additional relief measures become available for your business as the situation evolves.

Please check back regularly. We will update this page as more information becomes available. 

Reopening Manitoba:

UPDATED: April 8: Manitoba extends public health orders with minor changes effective April 9

NOTE: On April 8th, the Government of Manitoba announced that public health orders are extended effective April 9th until April 30th, 2021. The only changes to the existing public health orders is that applicable golf courses may serve liquor to golfers, without food, between the hours of 9:00AM and 10:00PM.   

On March 23rd, the Government of Manitoba announced that public health orders will be renewed effective March 26th at 12:01AM. There will be minor changes to the existing orders including: 

  • increasing gathering limits at outdoor public places to 25 from 10 people;
  • increasing gathering limits at weddings and funerals to 25 from 10 people; 
  • maintaining the capacity limits for retail stores at 50%, but expanding the in-store limits to a 500-person capacity, whichever is lower, with other public health measures still in effect; and
  • relaxing rules for drive-in events to allow people to leave their vehicles while still observing public health measures.

These restrictions will remain in place for three weeks (April 15th).


Restrictions across Manitoba effective March 26, 2021:

Businesses:

  • Enable any type of business to be able to operate with the exception of indoor theatres, indoor concert halls, casinos and bingo halls.

Retail stores and malls:

  • Increase capacity limits of up to 50% or 250 people, whichever is lower, with other public health measures still in effect.

Personal services:

  • Increase capacity limits to up to 50% or 250 people, whichever is lower, with other public health measures still in effect.

Restaurants:

  • Increase capacity limits to up to 50%, with the requirement for tables to sit with only household members, and other public health measures still in effect.
  • Licensed premises Increase capacity limits to up to 50%, with the requirement for tables to sit with only household members, and other public health measures still in effect.
  • For outdoor dining on patios at restaurants and licensed premises, groups of up to six people from different households will be able to gather.
  • Businesses other than casinos may resume operating video lottery terminals, with physical distancing measures and barriers in place.

    Free signage for restaurants and licensed premises:

Indoor recreation and sporting facilities:

  • Open at 25% total capacity, with public health measures in place including for spectators, common areas and locker rooms.
  • The requirement for gyms and fitness centres to provide one-on-one instruction only is removed.
  • Gym, fitness centre and pool users must continue to wear a mask while working out and in all other areas of the facility, with the exception of while in a swimming pool.
  • Dance, theatre and music facilities can open for individual instruction and group classes for a total capacity of 25%.

Indoor recreational facilities:

  • Open at 25% capacity with physical distancing measures in place.

Professional theatre groups, dance companies, symphonies and operas:

  • Resume rehearsals that are not accessible to members of the public.

Day camps for children:

  • Operate at 25% capacity, with other public health measures in place.

Households and gatherings:

  • households can choose one of the following:
    • continue designating two visitors to their home; or
    • designating a second household so that two households can visit each other, as long as everyone in the house has authorized those designated individuals to visit.
  • gathering limits at an outdoor public or private place to increase to 10 people including for outdoor non-organized sport or recreation activities; and
  • places of worship to have increased capacity size of 25 per cent or 100 people, whichever is lower, with physical distancing measures in place and mask requirements.

Other information

If you have questions, please call CFIB today at 1-888-234-2232 or email [email protected]

 

 

February 9: Manitoba easing additional restrictions effective February 12

On February 9th, the Government of Manitoba announced that public health orders will be changed to further ease some restrictions effective Friday, February 12th at 12:01AM. These restrictions will remain in place for three weeks.


Outside of the Northern Health Region

Restaurants: Reopen at 25% capacity with the following measures in place:

  • patron groups limited to household members only
  • physical distancing measures in place between tables
  • contact tracing information gathered from all parties
  • food cannot be served buffet style
  • food cannot be served for dine-in between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Licensed establishments must also: 

  • limit tables to no more than give people per table
  • ensure patrons remain at their tables except for specific purposes such as using washroom facilities
  • serve liquor only if a meal has been ordered
  • not serve liquor between the hours of 10 p.m. and 9 a.m.;

Personal services businesses: Reopen at 25% capacity with: 

  • physical distancing measure in place between patrons and workstations
  • with contact tracing information collected from patron
  • Personal services businesses include those providing pedicures, electrolysis, cosmetic application, tanning, tattooing or massage services;

Gyms, fitness centres and yoga studios: Reopen at 25% capacity with the following measures in place:

  • physical distancing measures between patrons
  • patrons and staff must wear a mask in the facility at all times
  • change facilities should not be used other than for access to washroom facilities
  • individual workouts or one-on-one instruction between a staff member and patron are permitted
  • no group activities or classes may take place
  • contact tracing information must be gathered from all patrons;

Indoor sporting facilities such as rinks, gymnastic clubs and martial arts: Reopen at 25% capacity including both staff and patrons:

  • activities limited to individual and one-on-one instruction only;

Photography and videography: Able to offer services to individual clients or those residing in the same household, in addition to providing services at weddings: 

  • cannot visit client homes;

Film industry: Able to operate fully with physical distancing and other safety measures in place;

Outdoor rinks: Reopen for casual sports as well as organized practices and games:

  • multi-team tournaments are not permitted;

Indoor washroom facilities at outdoor sporting or recreational venues: Reopen to those participating in the associated activities with safety measures in place;

Athletes identified as potential competitors at the summer or winter Olympics or Paralympic Games: Able to train at indoor sporting facilities, with safety measures in place;

Places of worship:  Able to hold regular religious services if a service does not exceed:

  • 10% of usual capacity or 50 people, whichever is lower
  • physical distancing measures in place except for those who are members of the same household;

Self-help groups for addictions and other behaviours: Able to hold meetings at 25% capacity of the premise where meetings take place, with physical distancing measures in place;

Museums, art galleries and libraries: Reopen at 25% capacity with physical distancing measures in place:

  • contact tracing information must be gathered from each patron group.

Inside the Northern Health Region

  • retail stores open at 25% capacity or 250 people maximum with adequate physical distancing;
  • non-regulated health services, hair salons and barbershops open with 25% capacity and adequate physical distancing;
  • household visitor restrictions of up to 2 designated people;
  • visits of 5 people plus members of a household on an outdoor private property.

Other information

If you have questions, please call CFIB today at 1-888-234-2232 or email [email protected]

January 27: Manitoba easing some restrictions effective January 23

NOTE: In addition to the public health orders in effect January 23rd (see below), the Government of Manitoba announced new interprovincial travel restrictions that take effect on January 29 at 12:00AM. Under these new public health orders, anyone entering Manitoba from anywhere in Canada will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This includes those entering from northern and Western Canada, and from west of Terrace Bay in Ontario, which under previous health orders did not require self-isolation. Current exemptions to self-isolation measures are still in effect including those traveling for essential interprovincial work and people travelling for medical purposes. There will also continue to be exemptions for people who regularly travel to and from communities near the borders for essential purposes.

On January 21, the Government of Manitoba announced that public health orders will begin easing some restrictions for retail businesses, salons, barbershops and non-regulated health providers. The following changes are in effect beginning Saturday, January 23 at 12:00AM until Friday, February 12 at 11:59PM:

  • retail operations: orders will be expanded to eliminate the essential items list, allowing all stores to open for the sale of products provided they maintain physical distancing and occupancy limits of 25 per cent only or a maximum of 250 people, whichever is lower;
  • barber shops and hair stylists: to reopen at 25 per cent capacity with adequate physical distancing and requirements to collect information for contact tracing purposes;
  • health and personal services: orders will be expanded to allow for non-regulated health services to reopen with adequate physical distancing and requirements to collect information for contact tracing purposes. 
    • The Act has only identified: reiki practitioners, pedorthists and reflexologists;
  • household limits: orders will be expanded to allow increased personal connections to support the well-being of Manitobans by allowing:
    • two designated people (family or friends) to visit a household under a new ‘rule of two’;
    • outdoor visits of up to five people only plus members of a household on an outdoor private property; and
    • funerals to have up to 10 people in addition to the officiant under clear COVID-19 protection protocols.

These changes do not take effect in the Northern Health Region or in Churchill. All other restrictions that were in place on January 22 remain in place across the province (see the update below). As well, the entire province will remain in Code Red. 

It is also important to note that these new health orders remain in place for three weeks (they expire on February 12th). 

For more detailed information, please visit the Manitoba Pandemic Response System website for up-to-date information.  

If you have questions, please call CFIB today at 1-888-234-2232 or email [email protected]

January 8 - Manitoba to extend Critical Level (red) restrictions to January 22

The Government of Manitoba announced that the December 12th public health orders will be extended from January 8th until January 22nd with only one change to allow professional hockey to operate. The new health orders took effect on January 8th.

Please see the ongoing public health orders below from November 22nd and December 12th

Effective December 12th:

There were a few minor changes made to the current order, which include: 

  • allowing thrift stores to open with some capacity limits, to allow access to second-hand clothing and other items;
  • ensuring acupuncture and manual osteopathy practices are allowed to open to align with other health services;
  • adding school supplies as essential retail items;
  • adding holiday decorations such as garlands and ornaments, and religious items like menorahs and candles to the list of essential retail items; and
  • allowing private residences to allow legal services, landlord access and access for home businesses.

Other changes not directly related to small business include: 

  • encouraging safe outdoor physical activity for individuals and immediate households only by providing guidance to clarify that people not from the same household need to keep 2 metres of distance between them and that gathering sizes must not exceed five people;
  • clarifying the operation of food banks and food hamper services;
  • allowing drive-in events as a temporary measure subject to compliance with the restrictions, and cars must contain members from one household only and no one may leave the car while at the event; and
  • permitting the Winnipeg Jets to train in Manitoba in preparation for an eventual NHL decision on a 2021 playing season.

For more detailed information, please visit the Manitoba Pandemic Response System website for up-to-date information.  

If you have questions, please call CFIB today at 1-888-234-2232 or email [email protected]

November 22: Additional restrictions on retail and gatherings now in effect

Note: In addition to the restrictions outlined below, the Government of Manitoba announced that newspapers, gift cards and pre-paid credit cards are essential items and are available for sale effective November 22. 

The Government of Manitoba announced that, in addition to the Critical Level (red) restrictions in place across the province, new restrictions on retail sales and gatherings take effect on Friday, November 20 at 12:01AM. These health orders are in effect until December 11. 


New retail restrictions across Manitoba:

A retail business may open can only sell essential items in-person, and must limit capacity 25% the usual occupancy or 250 people, whichever is lower. Retailers can continue to sell essential or non-essential items online, by telephone and with delivery or curb-side pickup. These rules take effect on November 20, but retailers have until November 21 to restrict access, remove or identify non-essential items for customers.

The list of essential items for in-person sale includes:

  • Food and beverages
  • Products related to food preparation or storage such as aluminum foil, saran wrap and food containers
  • Personal care products such as soap and skin care products, hair care products, dental care products, eye care products, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, razors and shaving cream
  • Health-related products such as prescription drugs, over the counter medication, vitamins and supplements, birth control and first aid products
  • Mobility or assistive devices, such as wheel chairs, walkers, canes, splints and similar products or supplies 
  • Diapers, wipes, baby bottles and other infant feeding and nursing accessories, infant clothing and sleepers, car seats, cribs, strollers, infant carriers and monitors
  • Household paper products such as toilet paper and paper towels
  • Household cleaning products and supplies such as laundry detergent, dish soap, bleach, cleaning agents, mops and brooms
  • Household safety and protection products such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers
  • Batteries and light bulbs
  • Winter jackets, snow pants, underwear, winter headwear, gloves and mitts, socks and winter boots
  • Personal protective equipment and protective clothing for use in the workplace
  • Tobacco products, alcohol and cannabis
  • Pet food and supplies
  • Postage stamps
  • Cell phones and cell phone accessories
  • Parts and supplies for all types of motor vehicles and watercraft
  • Major household appliances
  • Hunting, fishing and trapping supplies
  • Tools and hardware
  • Materials, parts and components for the maintenance, repair or construction of residential/commercial building systems, incl. plumbing, electrical and lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation systems
  • Products related to property maintenance such as shovels, snow blowers, sand and road salt

To stop the sale of items, the retailer must do one of the following:

  • Remove non-essential items from areas where customers can access them
  • Physically prevent customers from gaining access to non-essential items (e.g. roping off a section)
  • Put up signs or stickers on non-essential items that cannot be purchased

New gathering restrictions across Manitoba:

Under the new restrictions, a person who resides in a private residence (homes, cottages, etc.) must not permit a person who does not normally reside there to enter or remain, with the following exceptions:

  • provide health-care, personal care or home care services
  • allow a parent or guardian to visit a child who does not normally reside with that child
  • receive or provide child care
  • provide tutoring or other educational instruction
  • perform construction, renovations, repairs or maintenance
  • deliver items
  • provide real estate or moving services
  • respond to an emergency

This is also an exception to allow those who live on their own to have one other person visit their home. 
 
In addition, people are (still) prohibited from assembling in a gathering of more than five people at any indoor or outdoor public place including the common areas of a multi-unit residence, with the exception of a health-care facility or critical business that adheres to health protection measures. These measures allow for weddings, funerals, etc. to take place with a capacity limit of five people. The province also recognizes the significant physical and mental health benefits from outdoor activities. 

For more detailed information, please visit the Manitoba Pandemic Response System website for up-to-date information.  

If you have questions, please call CFIB today at 1-888-234-2232 or email [email protected]

November 10: New province-wide restrictions effective Nov. 12

The Government of Manitoba announced that the entire province of Manitoba will move to the Critical Level (red) on the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System effective Thursday, November 12 at 12:01AM. These changes bring significant additional restrictions to all regions - including those already under Critical Level (red). 

Detailed list of new restrictions (including definitions for critical services)

​​​​​Full list of critical businesses

New Restrictions across Manitoba - Critical Level (Red):

The new restrictions will be in effect provincewide and include:

  • Retail businesses listed as critical services, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, can remain open at 25 per cent capacity. 
  • Retail businesses not on the list are able to provide e-service, curbside pickup or delivery services.
  • All personal service businesses, including hair salons, barbers and sites offering manicures, pedicures and other esthetic services, must close. 
  • Gyms and fitness centres must close.
  • Restaurants must close to the public and may be open for delivery, drive-thru or takeout only.
  • All recreational activities, sports facilities, casinos, museums, galleries, libraries, movie theatres and concert halls must close.
  • Social contacts should be reduced to your household only. Gatherings are limited to five outside of your household.
  • Travel to and from northern Manitoba is restricted and non-essential travel is discouraged.
  • Religious and cultural gatherings must close or be provided virtually only.

Additional Resources:

For more detailed information, please visit the Manitoba Pandemic Response System website for up-to-date information.  

If you have questions, please call CFIB today at 1-888-234-2232 or email [email protected]

August 19: Manitoba Announces Pandemic Response System

The Pandemic Response System has been introduced to share the current level of risk, provide public health guidance to Manitobans and explain the range of measures in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Manitoba.

The province will update the provincial response level in response to the spread of the virus and other public health indicators.

There are four levels:

Green: Limited Risk
The spread of COVID-19 is broadly contained and a vaccine and/or effective treatment for COVID-19 is available.

Transmission of the virus is at very low to undetectable levels between household and close contacts. There may be single or isolated small outbreaks, which are quickly contained. Community transmission is low to undetectable.

Yellow: Caution
Community transmission of COVID-19 is at low levels.

Household and close contact transmission could be occurring in Manitoba. There may be single or isolated small cluster outbreaks which are quickly contained. Community transmission is low to undetectable.

Orange: Restricted
Community transmission of COVID-19 is occurring. However, the virus is being transmitted at levels that public health and the health system can manage.

New clusters are more common, but can be controlled through testing and contact tracing. The health care system is able to manage COVID-19 case levels.

Red: Critical
Community spread of COVID-19 is not contained and/or there are significant strains on our health care system.

The virus is being transmitted at levels that public health and the health system cannot manage. Extensive community transmission is occurring. There are widespread outbreaks and new clusters that cannot be controlled through testing and contact tracing. The health care system may be close to or over capacity.

For a detailed description of the four levels and what they mean to you, read Manitoba’s COVID-19 Response Level System Summary (pdf).

Manitoba Restoring Safe Services Plan

MANITOBA GOVERNMENT FURTHER EXTENDS STATE OF EMERGENCY: The extension took effect at 4 p.m. on Friday, November 6th for a period of 30 days.

 

Do you have questions about how to safely get back to business as Manitoba’s economy reopens?

As the province started lifting restrictions to reopen the economy, CFIB developed tools and resources to help you get back to business and keep your staff and customers safe:

Manitoba has begun its multi-phased effort to gradually restore services while maintaining social distancing advice. Size restrictions of public and private gatherings remain in place. Everyone is expected to continue to follow social distancing rules at all times and stay home if they are sick. Some travel restrictions remain in place, including a requirement to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving to Manitoba if traveling from east of Terrace Bay, Ontario, or outside of Canada. 

Visit Manitoba's State of Emergency Orders website for up-to-date information on restrictions for travel and gatherings. 

Phase One of Manitoba's reopening plan began on May 4, Phase Two began on June 1, Phase Three began on June 21, and the Phase Four Plan on July 25. 

For more information, see the Restoring Safe Services Phase OnePhase TwoPhase Three, and Phase Four roadmaps.

 

NOT following rules according to Manitoba’s State of Emergency Orders can result in tickets for corporations of $2,542 and fines of up to $500,000 and/or up to a year imprisonment.

 

Do you have any questions or concerns about the plan to reopen Manitoba's economy? Contact CFIB at 1-888-234-2232 or [email protected].

 

Restoring Safe Services  (Phase Four) - July 25

Items moving forward with more limited implementation on July 25 include:

  • maintaining current site capacity at 30 per cent for faith-based services, pow wows, but eliminating the need for sub-groups (cohorts);

  • allowing stage performances and opening movie theatres to a maximum capacity of 30 per cent of the site, up to a maximum of 500 people;

  • allowing casinos to open at a maximum of 30 per cent of the site’s capacity; and

  • allowing retail businesses, indoor recreation sites, personal services, and therapeutic or healthcare businesses to use non-permeable barriers when distances of two metres can not be maintained: changes include allowing closer than two metre/six foot distancing where a non-permeable physical barrier (e.g. Plexiglas) is installed. Occupancy levels will remain the same as in Phase Three. Requirements for self-isolating when showing symptoms and physical distancing continue.

 

The following proposed changes have been deferred at this time:

  • proposed changes to indoor and outdoor gathering sizes: Any changes to indoor and outdoor public gathering sizes have been deferred at this time. Phase Three public health guidance continues to be in effect.

  • relaxing of self-isolation requirements for those travelling from eastern and southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada: Any changes to travel restrictions have been deferred at this time. Phase Three public health guidance continues to be in effect, including 14-day self-isolation requirements for those traveling into Manitoba from eastern and southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

  • walk-up counter service in bars, beverage rooms, brew pubs, microbreweries and distilleries: Any changes to services at bars, beverage rooms, brew pubs, microbreweries and distilleries have been deferred at this time. Phase Three public health guidance continues to be in effect.

Public health officials will review possible adjustments on a week-by-week basis and make any additional changes based on the public health situation at the time.

To view the updated phase four plan and to review public health guidance for businesses, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19/restoring/index.html

 

Restoring Safe Services (Phase Three) - June 21

Following feedback from the public, the Government of Manitoba released the updated plan for Phase Three of Restoring Safe Services Plan with a start date of June 21. 

Changes for Phase Three following public feedback include:

  • removing the maximum capacity of 300 people at any site provided the gathering can be physically divided into sub-groups of 50 or fewer indoors or 100 or fewer outdoors, to a maximum 30 per cent of usual capacity;
  • allowing people from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, and people living in the area of the northwestern Ontario (west of Terrace Bay) to visit Manitoba without having to self-isolate for 14 days;
  • ensuring those travelling to northern Manitoba must continue to respect any restrictions that have been put in place by local communities and First Nations;
  • lifting self-isolation requirements on a case-by-case basis where sectors propose and provide satisfactory plans to address public health requirements for necessary travel; and
  • lifting capacity limits for restaurants, bars, beverage rooms, brew pubs, microbreweries and distilleries, as long as tables and seating are arranged so there is a temporary or physical barrier, or two metres of separation between people sitting at different tables

The province continues to encourage businesses to take steps to help staff, customers and visitors stay safe including:

  • ensuring people are able to reasonably maintain two metres of distance;
  • only conducting necessary and brief exchanges within two metres of others;
  • applying enhanced cleaning protocols, especially in common areas like washrooms;
  • maintaining physical distancing and food-handling protocols in workplace areas including lunch and common areas;
  • ensuring staff stay home when feeling sick; and
  • following personal risk reduction measures.

Additionally:

  • New guidelines have been proposed for permanent outdoor amusement parks;
  • Limits for golf carts are proposed to increase to two individuals per cart (four golfers per group);
  • New guidance has been proposed for indoor recreation, including non-smoking sites with VLT lounges, bingo halls, billiard rooms and other indoor amusement centres;
  • K-12 schools, post-secondary institutions and vocational colleges can be open for staff and some specific programs. Staff can begin actively planning to re-open in the fall.

Detailed information on the plan for Phase Three, including service restoration and workplace guidance for businesses, can be found at www.manitoba.ca/restoringsafeservices.

Contact CFIB for information on this review process.

 

Restoring Safe Services (Phase Two) - June 1

Based on feedback from Manitobans and current public health data, the Manitoba government finalized the Phase Two plan and implemented measures effective June 1 to continue safely restoring services and opening additional businesses while ensuring physical distancing.

    A number of operations resumed effective June 1 including:

    • increasing child-care centre occupancy to up to 24 children plus staffing;
    • increasing day camp group sizes to 24;
    • resuming sports, arts and cultural activities for children and adults;
    • lifting occupancy limits at outdoor recreation facilities and golf courses outdoors, as long as physical distancing can be maintained and allowing limited access to indoor spaces;
    • allowing direct travel to northern parks, campgrounds, cabins, lodges and resorts while ensuring physical distancing;
    • allowing public/private swimming pools, spas, fitness clubs, gyms and community/service centres to reopen with some limitations;
    • reopening manicurists and pedicurists, tattoo parlours, estheticians, cosmetologists, electrologists and tanning parlours at 50 per cent capacity;
    • allowing restaurants to reopen indoor spaces at 50 per cent capacity and continue to offer patio services at that capacity level; and
    • allowing bars, beverage rooms, micro-brewers and similar businesses to operate patio service at 50 per cent of site capacity and to reopen indoor spaces at 50 per cent capacity.

    The plan for Phase Two was revised from the original draft document, released May 21, based on input from the public and businesses, as well as additional input from public health officials. Changes include:

    • The reopening of arts and cultural activities, such as dance, art and theatre 
    • clarifications on the opening of bars, beverage rooms, brew pubs, micro-brewers and distilleries to allow sites that do not serve food to open, as well as updated guidance from public health that all patrons must be seated at tables and stand-up service is not allowed; and
      detailed public health guidelines for film productions. 

    No changes will be made to the requirements for reopening museums, galleries and libraries, and parks, campgrounds yurts and vacation cabins.
     
    Additional information on Restoring Safe Services (Phase Two)

     

     

    Restoring Safe Services (Phase One) - May 4

    Critical public health measures and current travel restrictions remain. This includes mandatory self-isolation upon one's return to Manitoba and limits on travel to the north. Priority elective surgeries have restarted, diagnostics screening will resume and some non-essential businesses will be reopened:

    • schools will remain closed
    • non-urgent surgery and diagnostic procedures restored
    • therapeutic and health care services restored
    • retail businesses reopen
    • restaurants - patio/walk-up services restored
    • hairstylists and barbers reopen
    • museums, galleries and libraries reopen
    • outdoor recreation and campgrounds reopen

    If results during or at the end of Phase One or any future phases are not favourable, the province will not proceed with further easing of secondary public health measures and may reintroduce others. If disease activity remains low, the government will give serious consideration to reducing the restrictions on group size.

    Additional information on Restoring Safe Services (Phase One)

     

      Manitoba Government declared State of Emergency (March 20)

      The Manitoba government declared a province-wide state of emergency under The Emergency Measures Act to protect the health and safety of all Manitobans and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

      Manitoba Government restricts operations of non-critical businesses in new public health order (March 30):

      The chief provincial public health officer is issuing orders under The Public Health Act as approved by the minister of health, seniors and active living. The following measures will be in place as of Wednesday, April 1:

      • Public gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people at any indoor or outdoor place or premises. This includes places of worship, gatherings and family events such as weddings and funerals. This does not apply to a facility where health care or social services are provided including child-care centres and homeless shelters. This remains in effect at this time under the previous health order issued on March 27, and will continue when this order comes into effect on April 1.
      • All restaurants and other commercial facilities that serve food are prohibited from serving food to customers in their premises. This prevents eat-in dining at all facilities. However, restaurants and other commercial facilities can prepare and serve food for delivery or takeout. If this takes place, the operator of the restaurant must ensure that all people maintain the appropriate social distancing from other customers when picking up food.

      All businesses that are not listed in the schedule of critical services that accompanies the order must close between April 1 and April 14.

      • This closure order does not prevent these businesses from operating on a remote basis.
      • A business may accept orders on the Internet, or over the phone for delivery or pickup, as long as the employees are not working at the place of business.
      • The order does not prevent employees or others from coming into the business to perform repairs, to provide security services or to take out items from the business premises if the business is going to operate on a remote basis.
      • All businesses listed in the schedule of critical services that accompanies the order may continue to operate. If these business allow members of the public to attend the place of business, the operator of the business must put in place measures to ensure that appropriate social distancing rules are followed.

      For more information about the State of Emergency, see the Manitoba Government’s news release.

      Help for your business:

      NEW! March 25: Government of Manitoba announces funding to create Arts and Culture Sustainability Funds

      On March 25, the Government of Manitoba announced $6 million in funding for the creation of new Arts and Culture Sustainability Funds to provide financial support for Manitoba’s art and culture sector. This new funding will be administered by the Manitoba Arts Council and Manitoba Film and Music.

      Arts and heritage organizations such as museums, galleries, festivals, cultural facilities, community arts, publishing, artists and musical groups will be eligible for financial support, even if they have qualified for previous provincial or federal programming, the premier noted.

      Information on the eligibility criteria, program and application details will be available through the Manitoba Arts Council and Manitoba Film and Music.

      NEW! March 18: Manitoba announces waived permits and licences for resource tourism operators

      On March 18, the Government of Manitoba announced that it is waiving the 2021 annual permit and licence renewal fees for resource tourism operators. 

      Resource tourism licences and permits, which would normally be valid until March 31, 2021, will be exteneded for one year. In addition, the province will waive renewal requirements in 2021 including licences and permits for outfitters and their associated facilities related to angling, hunting and ecotourism.

      NEW! March 16: Manitoba announces new Hospitality Sector Relief Program coming soon

      On March 16, the Government of Manitoba announced the new Hospitality Relief Sector Program to provide financial relief to Manitoba’s accommodation and tourism sector

      This new program will provide funding to hotels and full-time licenced resource tourism operators for fixed costs that have not been covered by other relief programs such as:

      • property insurance,
      • mortgage interest,
      • property taxes,
      • land leases,
      • service fees,
      • maintenance of camps, and
      • resource retention costs.

      Grants will be provided as a reimbursement for a percentage of eligible expenses incurred. The program will be will be administered by the Manitoba Hotel Association and the Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association.

      More information on the Hospitality Relief Sector Program and how to apply will be available for eligible applicants shortly. 

      NEW! March 5: Manitoba extends some tax remittance deadlines to June 30

      On March 5th, the Government of Manitoba announced it is extending two tax remittances for some small businesses. 

      Retail Sales Tax (RST) remittance deadlines:

      • Businesses with retail sale tax (RST) remittances of no more than $10,000 per month are eligible for an interest and penalty-free payment deferral to June 30, 2021. The deferral is for the January, February, March, April and May 2021 return periods. Businesses are also eligible for an interest and penalty-free payment deferral until June 30, 2021, for the March quarterly RST return.

      Health and Post-Secondary Education Tax Levy (HE Levy) remittance deadlines:

      • Businesses with remittances of no more than $10,000 per month are eligible for an interest and penalty free payment deferral to June 30, 2021. The deferral is for the January, February, March, April and May 2021 return periods.

      The RST and tax levy deferrals are optional and for tax payments only. Businesses must continue to file returns by the required due dates.

      NEW! March 2: Additional Manitoba Bridge Grant payment announced

      NOTE: the deadline for the Manitoba Bridge Grant was extended to March 31st and new businesses can now apply for the (total) $15,000 in funding.


      On March 2nd, the Government of Manitoba announced a third Manitoba Bridge Grant payment of (up to) $5,000 for eligible businesses. 

      Beginning March 5, 2021, recipients that were previously approved under the program will begin receiving the additional payment. These payments will be issued without any action on the part of the applicant and will be deposited to the same bank account provided in the initial application.

      Recipients will receive email confirmation once the transaction has been processed. 

      For eligible businesses that have not yet applied for any Manitoba Bridge Grant payments, the application deadline is open until March 31st, 2021. Eligible new applicants can receive the entire (up to) $15,000 payment. 

      Visit the Manitoba Bridge Grant webpage for more information. 


      On January 12th, the Government of Manitoba announced that the eligibility criteria for the Bridge Grant was expanded to include new industries including:  

      • Manitoba hotels, resorts, lodges and outfitters;
      • Travel agencies;
      • Janitorial services businesses;
      • Licensed Owner-operators of a licensed passenger transportation business for individuals.

      The new application deadline is March 31st, 2021. If your business still does not qualify, please call CFIB today at 1-888-234-2232 or email [email protected].

      On January 7, the Government of Manitoba announced that a second equal payment of (up to) $5,000 will be issued to businesses that previously qualified for the grant. The province is notifying businesses of second payments starting the week of January 4.

      On November 10, the Government of Manitoba announced a new program to provide an immediate non-repayable one-time grant of $5,000 to small and medium-sized businesses, not-for-profit and charitable organizations that were directly ordered to temporarily cease operations or close their publicly-accessible physical locations by Manitoba COVID-19 public-health orders in effect on November 12 (see above).

      This includes (but is not limited to) restaurants, bars, beverage rooms, brewpubs, microbreweries, distilleries, casinos, recreation and sport facilities, museums and galleries, theatres and concert halls, as well as organizations like charities, and not-for-profits.

      January 6: Dine-In Restaurant Relief Program now accepting applications

      On December 22, the Government of Manitoba announced a new program to support restaurants across the province impacted by the current COVID-19 restrictions. The application stream for the new Dine-in Restaurant Relief Program is now open, which provides a rebate to dine-in restaurants that shifted to a food delivery model during the Critical (Red) Level restrictions. 

      The rebate will help offset costs related to food delivery services incurred during the Critical phase, whether a restaurant provides its own delivery service or uses a third party. Restaurant operators can submit third-party delivery company fees for reimbursement, while those managing their own delivery system can be eligible for reimbursement of 20% of delivery invoices.

      For information about the Dine-In Restaurant Relief Fund, including eligibility criteria and to begin the application process, Manitoba dine-in restaurant operators should go here.

      This program is being delivered in partnership between the Government of Manitoba, the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and the Manitoba Restaurant and Foodservices Association.
       

      December 8 - Manitoba Bridge Grant extended to allow home-based businesses

      Note: the application deadline has now passed, but all businesses that previously qualified will receive a second payment automatically.

      On December 8, the Government of Manitoba announced a new stream of the Manitoba Bridge Grant which now allows home-based businesses to qualify for up to $5,000 in initial funding. 

      Eligible home-based businesses include but are not limited to: event planners, photographers, artists and tradespeople who do not operate a retail location. These added businesses must be full-time to qualify, and can receive a grant of 10% of their most recent calendar year revenues up to $5,000.

      The application stream for this new program opened on December 9. 

      Deadlines for both streams of the Manitoba Bridge Grant are open until December 31.

      Additionally, a second $5,000 payment should be available after January 1, 2021.
       

      November 10: The Manitoba Gap Protection Program is now a grant

      On November 10th, the Government of Manitoba announced that all applications received through this program will be converted from forgivable loans to grants, with no requirement to pay back the $6,000, regardless of federal supports received. 

      Applications are now closed. 

      MGPP provided an interest-free, forgivable $6,000 loan to small and medium-sized businesses that experienced hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health orders. Loans were available to businesses that fail to qualify for the various federal government assistance programs and wage subsidies created because of COVID-19.

      Eligible businesses received a one-time, lump-sum payment of $6,000, electronically deposited into their business bank account.

      Permanent, Manitoba-based businesses that were operational in the province on March 20 (the date the Manitoba government declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19) were eligible to apply if they temporarily ceased or curtailed operations as a result of a COVID-19 public health order. Businesses must not have received federal government COVID-19 grant funding support, and did not intend to apply for and receive previously announced federal government COVID-19 non-repayable funding support.

      Applications are now closed. 

      See the full form, a list of eligibility criteria and FAQs. If you need help, contact the Manitoba Economic Assistance Office at 1-888-805-7554.
       
      The province’s goal is to provide a $6,000 deposit to eligible businesses within a few days after the application is submitted.

       

      November 10: The Manitoba Back to Work initiative is extended to December 31

      On November 10th, the Government of Manitoba announced that businesses should receive an initial $1,500 per worker hired through the program within the next two weeks.

      The Manitoba Back to Work initiative, which provides businesses with a wage subsidy to help returning staff or new hires, has been extended until December 31. Through the Back to Work initiative, private-sector employers can receive up to $100,000 to subsidize 20 employees (up to $5,000 per employee) hired since July 16. Employers are now able to rehire students previously hired through the Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program, Canada Summer Job Program and Green Team Program. New start-up companies are eligible, providing they have a business number.

       

      The new application deadline is December 1. 

      For more information and to apply, visit: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/business/btwmp.html

      Eligibility criteria:

      • Manitoba-based businesses operating in the province are eligible.
      • Employers must possess an active and valid Business Number, business bank account, and e-mail address.
      • Businesses must be registered, and in good standing with the Companies Office (not required for sole proprietors).
      • Employer can hire 20 new employees under this program. Employers cannot receive funding for any positions that are already being subsidized by another government program. This includes, but is not limited to, the Canada Summer Job Program, Green Team, Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, Manitoba Back to Work this Summer Program and Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program. (This does not include the Federal government's 10 per cent Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers.)

      The following employers are not eligible:

      • Businesses are not eligible if they were in arrears for taxes owing to Manitoba on March 20, 2020 (i.e., before the state of emergency), and that have not since rectified this amount in arrears. (This does not include businesses that have deferred taxes as a result of COVID-19 relief programs to defer tax remittances.)
      • Businesses that conduct multilevel marketing are not eligible, nor are passive businesses or corporate entities that do not exist for the purpose of carrying on an active business in Manitoba.
      • Businesses that currently have an active Manitoba Business Start Loan Guarantee, a loan under the Manitoba Industrial Opportunities Program, or an agreement under The Community Revitalization Tax Increment Financing Act, are not eligible.
      • Charities and not-for-profit organizations are not eligible.
      • Public sector employers, including public health, educational institutions, and municipal/provincial/federal governments and agencies and political parties, are not eligible.

      Financial support:

      • Employers are eligible to receive a reimbursement of 50 per cent of total wages actually paid between July 16 and December 31, 2020, to a maximum of $5,000 per worker. 

      June 26: The Government of Manitoba introduced a ban on commercial evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic

      The ban ended on September 30, 2020.

      The Manitoba government introduced a temporary ban on commercial evictions as part of an effort to drive increased participation in the federal-provincial cost-shared Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program.

      The federal government’s rent relief program has been set up to have landlords apply and work with their tenants to receive rent relief. Not all landlords eligible for this funding are applying, leaving tenants without an option to stay in their current leased commercial space. The CECRA program now runs until September 14, 2020.

      It is hoped this measure will create an additional incentive for landlords and tenants to work together and apply to the CECRA, as well as keep businesses from closing or having to relocate during the pandemic.

      The temporary measures have been introduced under The Emergency Measures Act and are consistent with initiatives in other provinces.

      June 26: The Manitoba Job Restart Program

      Applications closed on July 31, 2020.

      The new Manitoba Job Restart Program will provide up to $2,000 of funding from the provincial government to eligible employees who stop collecting support through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Student Benefit (CESB) programs. 

      Employees will receive an initial payment of $500 plus three additional bi-weekly payments for $500 each, for a total of $2,000 over six weeks. 

      This is a voluntary-participation program, and there is no obligation for Manitobans to stop receiving CERB or CESB benefits if they choose not to participate. To remain in the program, approved applicants must:

      • actively return to work in Manitoba to a job with at least 30 hours per week in order to be eligible for the first $500 payment;
      • complete a simple declaration for each of the following two weeks certifying that they are still working at least 30 hours per week in order to receive the next three $500 payments;
      • no longer receive CERB, CESB or similar COVID-19 related support from the federal government;
      • follow Manitoba’s COVID-19 health guidelines in the workplace; and
      • continue residing permanently in Manitoba and be legally entitled to work in Canada.

      For more information about the program and how your staff can apply, visit: https://manitoba.ca/covid19/infomanitobans/mjrp.html.

      June 22: Provincial payment and remittance deferrals

      Payment and Remittance Deferrals:

      April 3: The Manitoba Government announced immediate relief to Manitobans facing financial challenges by deferring a number of provincial fees and charges

      As part of the Manitoba Protection Plan, the province is providing the following protections for the next six months until Oct. 1:

      • instructing Manitoba Hydro, Centra Gas and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) to not charge interest or penalties in the event that Manitobans are unable to pay at this time;
      • instructing MPI to relax ordinary practices on policy renewals and collections;
      • instructing Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries not to charge interest on receivables from restaurants, bars and specialty wine stores;
      • supporting Workers Compensation Board (WCB) to do the same and asking WCB to extend relief from penalties for late payments;
      • directing Manitoba Hydro and Centra Gas to not disconnect customers during these times; and
      • working with municipal partners to ensure municipalities do not charge interest on provincial education taxes and school division fees and the province is encouraging municipalities to do the same with respect to their own taxes and will start discussions to support implementation.

      The government is also deferring provincial income tax and corporate income tax filing deadlines and payments to coincide with the current revised federal deferral of income tax to Aug. 31 and has indicated it would be willing to extend these deferrals until Oct. 1, should the federal government agree. 

       

      UPDATE! JUNE 22: Government of Manitoba extends RST payment deadlines

      Manitoba businesses hit by the economic downturn from COVID-19 will have more time to submit provincial taxes. Retail sales tax (RST) returns for small and medium businesses with monthly RST remittances of no more than $10,000 per month that would normally be due on April 20, May 20, June 22, July 20, August 20 and September 21 will now be due on October 20, 2020. Businesses that file on a quarterly basis that have a due date of April 20 and July 20 will now have the due date extended to October 20, 2020.

      Businesses that qualify for the above filing extension that were not able to file and remit their February sales tax return by the March 20th due date will not be assessed a late filing penalty and interest will not be applied until after October 20, 2020.

      Interest will continue to apply on all outstanding tax debts established prior to the March remittance deadlines.

      Businesses will still receive paper returns in the mail or web notice reminders by email for return periods March, April, May, June, July and August.

      For more information, please see the Government of Manitoba's Tax Bulletin Notice RST 20-03.  

       

      UPDATE! JUNE 22: Government of Manitoba extends HE Levy payment deadlines

      Manitoba businesses hit by the economic downturn from COVID-19 will have more time to submit provincial taxes.

      Health and Post Secondary Education Tax Levy (also known as HE Levy) returns for small and medium businesses with monthly HE Levy remittances of no more than $10,000 per month that would normally be due on April 15, May 15, June 15, July 15, August 17 and September 15 will now be due on October 15, 2020.

      Businesses that qualify for the above filing extension that were not able to file and remit their February HE Levy tax return by the March 16 due date will not be assessed a late filing penalty and interest will not be applied until after October 15, 2020.

      Interest will continue to apply on all outstanding tax debts established prior to the March remittance deadlines.

      Businesses will still receive paper returns in the mail or web notice reminders by email for return periods March, April, May, June, July and August.

      For further information, see the Manitoba Government’s Taxation Bulletin Notice 20-01

      June 5: The Canada-Manitoba Job Grant application

      The application period closed on July 3, 2020.

      The Canada-Manitoba Job Grant application intake is OPEN, for training that ends by March 1, 2021

      COVID-19 related training is eligible for funding

      Each application is assessed on its merits; not first come, first served. Funding is not guaranteed even if a company has been approved for a grant in previous years.

      APPLICATION FORM FOR 2020 INTAKE:

      The Canada-Manitoba Job Grant is an employer-driven approach to help Manitobans gain the skills they need to fill available jobs and to help employers develop the skills of their existing workers to meet the requirements of their present job, or to move into a better job.

      Eligible employers may apply for up to $10,000 for each individual worker to assist with training costs. Employers that receive funding must contribute a minimum of one-third of the eligible training costs. With the maximum government contribution of $10,000, this means that up to $15,000 is available, per person, for eligible training costs.

      For information on how to apply for the Canada-Manitoba Job Grant, contact the Manitoba Jobs and Skills Development Centre at 1-866-332-5077 or [email protected].

      Workers Compensation Board (WCB) support

      April 21: Workers Compensation Board on Manitoba returns $37M surplus to provide financial relief to employers

      The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba is returning a $37-million surplus to provide financial relief to eligible employers. This is the second year the WCB has returned surplus funds while still maintaining the lowest assessment rate in Canada.

      Eligible employers will receive a credit to their account based on 20 per cent of their 2019 premium, and should see this credit in their May statement. To be eligible, employers must have fulfilled their payroll reporting responsibilities for 2019 and paid a WCB premium in 2019. Employers can still report their 2019 payroll to receive the surplus distribution.

      Of the $37 million, WCB expects $29 million will be returned to the private sector, with approximately $7 million going to small businesses in Manitoba.

      More information is available in the Government of Manitoba's news release and the FAQs about the surplus distribution.

       

      Payment deferrals:

      Given the economic uncertainties, businesses may be challenged with cash flow and require temporary relief from their WCB payment obligations. In response, the WCB of Manitoba will:

      • Defer premium payments until the end of May.
      • Late payment penalties will be waived until further notice.
      • Extend the payroll reporting deadline without penalties until the end of May.
      • Ensure that coverage remains active for accounts that choose to defer. payments until the end of May. Clearances will remain in good standing.

      Note: These dates may change as we continue to assess the situation.

      Account registration and assessments continue

      The WCB offices are temporarily closed to the public and we have transitioned the majority of our employees to work remotely, allowing us to maintain our core functions from a distance.
      We encourage employers to leverage technology to improve the efficiency of our interaction; options include making premium payments online, website chat with an assessment account representative or submitting an email with an inquiry or callback request.

      Change your payroll estimate

      Businesses that are expecting to see a dramatic change in their payroll compared to what they initially reported to the WCB earlier this year can submit a revised 2020 payroll estimate to the WCB and this year's premium will be adjusted accordingly. The quickest and most effective way to submit revised payroll would be to send an email with your account number to [email protected].

      Request deferred payments

      Given the uncertainty of how long the pandemic will last, making a premium payment after May 2020 could still be difficult. The WCB will continue to monitor the situation and timeframes will change accordingly. If your business requires additional time to make a payment, WCB will work with you to discuss alternate payment options or deferring future pre-authorized payments.

      Please see Manitoba WCB's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic FAQ for additional information.

      For more information contact Assessment Services:

      Email: [email protected]
      Web chat: wcb.mb.ca/tell-us-about-yourself
      Winnipeg: 204-954-4505
      Within Canada toll free: 1-855-954-4321, ext. 450

      Manitoba Hydro support

      If unable to make payments to Manitoba Hydro by the due date, contact them to make a payment arrangement. Arrangements can be made through MyBill, by emailing [email protected], or by calling 204-480-5900 or 1-888-624-9376. A credit representative will be help make a payment plan that fits your needs.

      Manitoba Hydro has discontinued all service disconnections related to overdue accounts until further notice.

      Employment Standards - Temporary leave changes

      Manitoba Government announces temporary exception to Employment Standards layoff rules during the COVID-19 pandemic:

      A temporary exception to employment standards regulations will give employers more time to recall employees laid off as a result of COVID-19. Under current employment standards legislation, employees who have been laid off for eight or more weeks in a 16-week period are deemed to have been terminated and are entitled to wages in lieu of notice.

      After consulting with the Labour Management Review Committee, the province is making temporary amendments that would ensure any period of layoff occurring after March 1, 2020, will not be counted toward the period after which a temporary layoff would become a permanent termination.

      This measure is temporary and specific to situations where employees will eventually be rehired once the COVID-19 crisis has subsided and economic activity picks up again.

      The province will suspend the exception when the province begins to recover economically.

      For more information, see the Employment Standards Backgrounder: COVID-19 - Temporary Amendments to Termination of Employment Regulations

      Find non-medical PPE for your business

      The Manitoba government has partnered with a number of business groups to launch an online marketplace to connect Manitoba businesses with non-medical grade personal protective equipment (PPE) and other materials needed for businesses to operate.

      If looking to purchase PPE, visit online marketplace. You will need to create a free account or access it with your Gmail or Facebook account.

      You can also visit CFIB's PPEs for SMEs Facebook group where businesses that need PPE can find other businesses who sell PPE.

      FAQ on COVID-19

      We’re dedicated to supporting your business through this difficult time. See the FAQs on the most common COVID-19 topics and stay up to date on the latest relief measures from the federal government. Visit our Small Business Help Center.