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CFIB statement on Manitoba lifting COVID-19 restrictions

Winnipeg, February 11, 2022 – We are pleased to see the Manitoba government has announced it will lift many of the remaining COVID-19 related business restrictions. This is a positive step toward recovery and a welcome new phase for Manitoba small businesses.

CFIB’s latest survey data shows that:

  • 71% of Manitoba small businesses believe it’s time to lift capacity restrictions
  • 58% of Manitoba small businesses believe it’s time for proof-of-vaccination requirements to be eliminated

Removing business restrictions is a big step, but only the first towards a small business recovery plan. Currently, only 24 per cent of Manitoba small businesses have returned to normal sales levels. The average Manitoba small business has taken on nearly $80,000 in new debt just to survive the past two years, and many are dealing with ongoing challenges related to labour shortages, supply chain disruptions, and rising prices.

We urge the Manitoba government to back up today’s announcement with a stay-open plan to provide clarity and certainty as we continue to manage the pandemic. This would include ensuring there is adequate healthcare capacity to avoid any renewed restrictions or business closures. 

We also call on the Manitoba government to make efforts to boost consumer confidence over the weeks ahead. After two years of uncertainty, government messaging needs to shift towards encouraging the safe return to activities like dining in restaurants, going to the gym or to the movies, attending events, and travelling so that our small businesses can begin the long road to recovery. 

 

About CFIB 

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 95,000 members (4,000 in Manitoba) across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca

February 11, 2022

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