With five Biz Zones in Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry, I know how many small businesses and nonprofits have seen their revenue drastically reduced this year that is why Councillors worked hard to find ways that we could support our small businesses through the budget.
A $3 million grant program is being proposed as part of the preliminary 2021 Balanced Budget Update to assist Winnipeg small businesses and not-for-profit organizations ordered to temporarily cease operations or close their physically accessible locations by the provincial government’s public health orders that took effect on November 12, 2020. The program will be funded from the federal government’s Safe Restart Agreement.
A non-repayable grant of a maximum $1,500 per organization will be available to businesses and not-for-profit organizations that have fewer than 100 employees. The grant can be used for rent, utilities, wages, personal protective equipment, sanitizing equipment, or other costs required as part of operations in the pandemic. Funds will be provided on a first come, first served basis until the $3 million is fully expended.
An application form will be developed that will require applicants to attest to the specific costs that will be covered by the grant. By accepting the grant, organizations will consent to having their expenses displayed in a final report that will be made public for Council’s review.
The deadline for applications will be February 28, 2021. The City may consider a subsequent intake if the $3 million is not fully subscribed to by the deadline.
The program will not be available to organizations that are related to the Government of Canada, Government of Manitoba, or City of Winnipeg, businesses and other organizations with 100 or more employees, or businesses and organizations that did not have to cease their operations or close their publicly accessible physical locations under the most recent public health orders.