COVID-19

Information and Resources

For Business

Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is here to support our members.

We understand how difficult this pandemic is on businesses and are committed to supporting you during this time. We want to ensure you’re set up for success and are informed with the most up-to-date information.

open with care

How Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is helping:

Grants

  • We know businesses need help to make it through the second wave of the pandemic. To help, we created the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Connect Grant — a service program that connects member businesses needing help with member business experts that can provide it. Simply put, it builds sustainability for two businesses with one grant.
  • In an effort to help businesses in the ways they need it most, we created a the first phase of the program, which granted $1,000 to qualifying downtown small and medium-sized businesses to help with recovery. Businesses can use the grants for just about anything they need – from helping with rent payments to extra promotion.

Promotion

  • Ramped up our social media and online promotion of businesses.
  • Created, launched and are promoting that downtown businesses are #OpenwithCare, a campaign designed to help our members demonstrate their commitment to safety.
  • Brought back our events safely (like Fitness in the Park, and Downtown Sounds Concert Series) and are offering some of our signature events in reimagined ways.

Advocacy

  • Created designated curbside pick-up locations for contactless shopping and food pick-up options. 
  • Worked with the City of Winnipeg and Exchange District BIZ to provide one hour free parking to encourage more visitors downtown.
  • Advocated for temporary patio permits, allowing more businesses to expand outdoors through the warmer months.
  • Brought large employers together to share resources and discuss how to bring workers safely back to the office. According to a survey conducted by Probe Research for the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ in September, 25% of workers were back in the office full time and another 30% were back part time.
  • Advocated for changes to the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program to help with rent relief. Since then, the government has announced a new program with expanded criteria. The program:
    • Allows tenants to apply for CECRA directly, instead of relying on landlords to participate.
    • Changes the requirement that businesses must have experienced at least a 70% drop in revenue, to subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65% of eligible expenses.
    • Provides a top-up Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy of 25% for organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order, in addition to the 65% subsidy.

Latest Updates:

July 14, 2021: Changes to public health orders effective July 17

Here’s what’s new for restaurants as of 12:01 a.m. July 17:

  • Restaurants, licensed premises and food court capacities expand to 50 per cent indoors, outdoors remains at 50 per cent.
  • Opening hours extend to midnight.
  • The requirement to purchase food when ordering alcohol no longer applies.
  • VLTs may operate with all other restaurant/bar rules applying (two-metre distance, only households or fully vaccinated people seated together).
  • Outdoor maximum table size remains at eight people.
  • Patrons may only sit together indoors if they are from the same household or if all patrons 12 years of age or older are fully immunized (unvaccinated children under 12 may dine with fully vaccinated members of their household in this case).

Additional changes:

  • Retail businesses increase to 50 per cent capacity with a limit of 500 people.
  • Personal services (haircuts and styling, nail salons, estheticians and massage) continue at 50 per cent capacity — appointments are no longer required.
  • Gym and fitness centre capacities expand to 50 per cent (masks and physical distancing of three metres are still required).
  • Museums & galleries, movie theatres, bingo halls, and VLT lounges & casinos may open only to fully-vaccinated people, up to 50 per cent capacity.
    • unvaccinated children under 12 may attend/visit these facilities/events (as appropriate) if accompanied by fully vaccinated members of their household.
  • Indoor sporting facilities may host groups up to a maximum of 25 people, interaction between groups and tournaments are not permitted.
  • Public outdoor gatherings increase to a maximum of 150 people (i.e. outdoor fitness classes).

According to the Province, physical distancing and mask use are still required.

These orders are scheduled to expire at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 7. For more detailed information, read the Province’s July 14 news release.


For previous updates, please visit the archive.



For The Public

Open with Care - hand sanitizer

Downtown businesses you know and love are open, and if you haven’t visited in a while, we miss you! Support local by visiting, ordering take-out or shopping online with a downtown business. 

Check out our Find It Downtown Directory for inspiration.

If you’re visiting in person, please do your part and follow the health and safety regulations mandated by the Province. 

  • Practice physical distancing by maintaining a distance of two metres from others at all times.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands often.
  • Be kind to employees and follow directions.

How Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is helping:

  • Increased cleaning of high-use spaces like bus shelters and cigarette butt receptacles.
  • Sharing updates on downtown businesses’ open hours on social media and online.
  • Set up designated curbside pickup locations to make it easy for you to grab takeout or pick up purchases from your favourite restaurants and stores.
  • Worked with the City of Winnipeg and Exchange District BIZ to provide one hour free parking downtown. (As always, you can also enjoy free parking after 5:30 pm weekdays, for two hours on Saturday and all day Sunday.)
  • Provided downtown businesses with masks they can give to customers in case you forget one, and hand sanitizer. 

Impressed by how well downtown businesses are following health and safety protocols? Share your experiences using the hashtag #OpenwithCare!