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:

February 9, 2021: New public health orders effective Friday, Feb. 12

Here’s what the changes include:

  • Allowing restaurants and licensed premises to reopen at 25 per cent capacity with patron groups limited to members of the same household. Restaurants must close for dine-in between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Allowing gyms, fitness centres and yoga studios to reopen at 25 per cent capacity for one-on-one instruction. No group activities or classes may take place.
  • Allowing museums, art galleries and libraries to operate at 25 per cent capacity.
  • Allowing personal service businesses, such as those providing pedicures, electrolysis, cosmetic application, tanning, tattooing or massage services to reopen at 25 per cent capacity.
  • Allowing photographers and videographers to offer services to individual clients or those residing in the same household in addition to providing services at weddings, with the exception of visiting client homes.

For more information, please visit the Province’s PDF list.

Jan. 21, 2021: Province announces minor changes to public health orders effective January 23, 2021:

Here’s what’s new for retail:

  • All stores can open for the sale of all products and the essential items list has been eliminated.
  • Requirements to maintain physical distancing and occupancy limits of 25% or maximum of 250 people (whichever is lower) remain in place and will be enforced.

Here’s what’s new for health services, hair salons & barber shops:

  • Non-regulated health services, such as podiatrists and reflexologists, can reopen with adequate physical distancing and requirements to collect information for contact tracing purposes.
  • Barber shops and hair stylists can reopen at 25% capacity with adequate physical distancing and requirements to collect information for contact tracing purposes.

Jan. 8, 2021: Public health orders extended until Jan. 22, 2021

Dec. 9, 2020: Province extends the Critical (red) level until January 8, 2021, with some exceptions:

  • Allowing thrift stores to open with some capacity limits
  • Allowing acupuncture and manual osteopathy practices to open
  • Adding school supplies as an essential item under the restrictions to retail services
  • Allowing for the seasonal sale of holiday decorations such as garlands and ornaments, and religious items like menorahs and candles
  • Permitting the Winnipeg Jets to train in Manitoba in preparation for an eventual NHL decision on a 2021 playing season

Nov. 20, 2020: Province announces additional restrictions under the Critical (red) level, effective Nov. 21, 2020.

  • Social gatherings are not permitted. Social contacts reduced to your household only.
  • 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.
  • Religious and cultural gatherings must close or be provided virtually only.
  • 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.

Nov. 19, 2020: Province restricts the sale of non-essential items during in-person shopping.

As of Nov. 20 at 12:01 a.m., Retail businesses selling essential items can remain open but may only sell essential items to people who are shopping in person.

As of Nov. 21 at 12:01 a.m., retail businesses must do the following:

  • Ensure that non-essential items are removed from areas where members of the public have access.
  • Prevent members of the public from gaining access to non-essential items at the business.
  • Display signs or stickers on non-essential items that cannot be purchased.
  • Limit the number of people shopping at the business to 25 per cent of the usual capacity or 250 people, whichever is lower.
  • Implement measures to ensure that people maintain a separation of at least two metres from other members of the public.
  • Establish a system to ensure compliance with the capacity limits
  • Provide proof the capacity limits have not been exceeded on request from a person authorized to enforce these orders, at the time the request is made.

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!