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

  • Building on the success of the first Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Connect Grant, we were able to offer a Connect Grant round 2. Once again, it aimed to build sustainability while building community connections.
  • 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 the first phase of the grant program, which granted $1,000 to qualifying downtown small and medium-sized businesses to help with recovery. Businesses could use the grants for just about anything they need – from helping with rent payments to extra promotion. We were able to open a second phase of $1,000 grants in May of 2021.

Promotion

  • Researched, created and launched a free tour app that takes guests around downtown on the BFF (Best Furry Friends) Tour. The BFF Tour includes several pet-friendly downtown businesses in a fun-filled, educational 7 km tour narrated by Kahla Evans.
  • Created, organized, launched and supported Winnipeg’s first-ever Patio Fest which provided Winnipeggers with everything they need to have an amazing weekend on downtown patios.
  • 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:

September 2, 2021: Additional public health orders announced Thursday

On Thursday, the Province announced the following public health measures taking effect on Sept. 7:

  • Museums and galleries will be required to ask for proof of vaccination from visitors to access indoor areas.
  • Food courts will be required to comply with the same rules as restaurants for dine-in patrons and require proof of vaccination.
  • Wedding receptions held in licensed premises will be subject to the same rules as restaurants and licensed premises, and guests will have to show proof of vaccination.
  • The maximum number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings will reduced to 500. Some events will be allowed to operate above that limit, subject to approval by public health.

The Manitoba government did not give an expiration date for these orders. For more information, read the Province’s Sept. 2 news release.


August 27, 2021: Masks required indoors Aug. 28; other changes for the following week

Mask use will be required in all indoor public spaces across Manitoba effective Saturday, Aug. 28 at 12:01 a.m.

As of Friday, Sept. 3, individuals must be fully immunized to participate in the following:

  • Indoor and outdoor ticketed sporting events and concerts.
  • Indoor theatre/dance/symphony events.
  • Restaurants (indoor and patio dining).
  • Nightclubs and all other licensed premises.
  • Casinos, bingo halls and VLT lounges.
  • Movie theatres.
  • Fitness centres, gyms and indoor sporting and recreational facilities (excluding youth recreational sport).
  • Organized indoor group recreational classes and activities, and indoor recreational businesses.

Children 11 and under who are not eligible to be immunized will be able to attend events and activities with a fully immunized adult.

The Province also recommends that private businesses and organizations follow the province’s lead and consider mandating COVID-19 vaccination for their employees. The Manitoba government did not give an expiration date for these orders. For more information, read the Province’s Aug. 27 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!