Information and Resources
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.
How Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is helping:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
May 7, 2021: Strict new restrictions & closures effective May 9
- restaurants, bars and patios will close to in-person dining, but can still provide take-out and delivery services
- gyms and fitness centres will close
- casinos remain closed and VLTs will close
- museums, galleries and libraries will close
- personal services such as estheticians, barbers, salons and tanning salons will close
- retail stores, markets and garden centres will be able to be open at 10 per cent capacity, to a maximum of 100 people
- malls will be open to a maximum of 10 per cent of the facility’s capacity
- outdoor gatherings that include people from multiple households are limited to a maximum of five people
April 26, 2021: New public health orders effective April 28
Here’s what’s new for retail:
- Retail stores must be limited to 25% of the capacity of the store or up to 250 patrons, whichever is lower
- Malls will be limited to 25% of the facility’s capacity
Here’s what’s new for restaurants and bars
- Patio dining will be restricted to groups of four people only, with no household restrictions
- Food courts in malls and shopping centres will be required to close
Here’s what’s new for gyms and fitness centres:
- Gyms and fitness centres continue to be limited to 25% capacity, but individuals will be required to maintain physical distancing of three metres from others
Here’s what’s new for personal services:
- Personal service businesses will be able to continue to operate at 50 per cent capacity, but appointments will be required
Changes to the orders will last until May 26, 2021. Learn more from the Province’s public health orders news release.
April 19, 2021: Change to public health orders effective April 21
Retail stores and malls are limited to 1/3 capacity of the store or 333 people (whichever is lower).
More information is available from the Manitoba government news release.
March 12, 2021: Change to public health orders effective March 13
Outdoor dining on patios at restaurants and licensed premises can include groups of up to six people from different households. This change is in addition to the current public health orders and is in effect as of Saturday, March 13 at 12:01 a.m.
For more information, please see the Province’s news release.
March 2, 2021: New public health orders effective Friday, March 5
Retail and restaurants
- 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, malls and personal services can have increased capacity limits of up to 50 per cent or 250 people, whichever is lower.
- Restaurants and licensed premises can have increased capacity limits of up to 50 per cent, with the requirement for tables to sit with only household members.
- Businesses other than casinos can resume operating video lottery terminals, with physical distancing measures and barriers in place.
Recreation & Fitness
- Indoor recreation and sporting facilities such as gyms, fitness centres and studios can open at 25 per cent total capacity. The requirement that only one-on-one instruction is allowed has been removed.
- Gyms, 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.
- Indoor recreational facilities such as arcades and children’s facilities to open at 25 per cent capacity.
For a more detailed list, please visit the Province’s PDF list.
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
- Visit the province’s website for a reminder of the current public health orders
For previous updates, please visit the archive.
Province of Manitoba – Restoring Safe Services guidelines and regulations
Province of Manitoba – #RestartMB
Government of Canada – Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
Business continuity and crisis recovery – free webinar from Downtown Winnipeg BIZ
Canadian Business Resilience Network – tools and resources for businesses
Economic Development Winnipeg – COVID-19 toolkit
Business continuity plan and templates
Member communications (MEMOs)
If you’re a downtown business and you’d like to receive the MEMO, please send us an email.
For The Public
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!