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

  • In an effort to help businesses in the ways they need it most, we created a new grant program. The first phase of the program 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.
  • We will be launching another grant program soon and will keep you updated

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:

Nov. 20, 2020: Province announces additional restrictions under the Critical (red) level, effective Nov. 12, 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.

All retailers can continue selling essential and non-essential items online, by telephone or by remote means for delivery or pick up.

Oct. 30, 2020: Winnipeg was elevated to Critical (red) level in the Province of Manitoba’s Pandemic Response System, effective Nov. 2, 2020.

  • Bars and restaurants will be closed except for take-out and delivery.
  • Most retail capacity will be reduced to 25 per cent or five people, whichever is higher (not including employees). Food and pharmacy are exempt and remain at 50 per cent capacity.
  • Sports and recreation programming will be suspended.
  • Gyms and fitness centres will have reduced capacity to 25 per cent and masks will be mandatory, even when exercising.
  • Movie theatres and concert halls will close.
  • Personal services (PDF) such as hair and esthetic salons, massage therapy, tattoo and piercing studios, and laser clinics remain at 50 per cent capacity.

Oct. 19, 2020: The Province implemented occupancy restrictions for some businesses and limited gathering sizes.

  • Closed all entertainment facilities, casinos/VLT lounges and bingo halls.
  • Lowered indoor and outdoor gathering sizes from 10 to 5.
  • Reduced capacity of retail businesses to 50 per cent, including lowering gathering sizes from 10 to five in food courts and common areas.
  • Reduced group/table sizes in restaurants and lounges from 10 to 5 and reducing the capacity at these locations to 50 per cent.
  • Reduced the capacity of museums, galleries and libraries to 50 per cent and requiring sites to collect contact information for all attendees.
  • Requiring gyms and fitness centres to collect contact information for all attendees

October 7, 2020: The Province of Manitoba effected regulations for licensed premises (restaurants and bars).

  • No sale or service of liquor between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m.
  • The business must ensure all members of the public vacate the premises by 11 p.m.
  • Staff must obtain contact information in writing from at least one person in each party and must keep it for 21 days.

September 28, 2020: Winnipeg was elevated to Restricted (orange) in the Province of Manitoba’s Pandemic Response System. 

  • Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces.
  • For restaurants and bars, staff and guests must wear masks at all times except when seated.
  • There are no changes to occupancy level restrictions for businesses.
  • Public gatherings are restricted to 10 people, both indoors and outdoors.

July 25, 2020: The Province of Manitoba implemented Phase Four of its Restoring Safe Services plan.

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!