Manitoba Daily

Friday, January 28, 2022

Manitoba businesses affected by the latest COVID-19 restrictions will receive help

Help is on the way for Manitoba businesses impacted by the latest COVID-19 restrictions

Key takeaways:

  • Details on a program to assist businesses affected by Manitoba’s latest pandemic health restrictions will be released this week, according to Scott Fielding.
  • The leader of the New Democratic Party, Wab Kinew, compared the situation to A Christmas Carol, a classic Charles Dickens novella about Ebenezer Scrooge.

Finance Minister Scott Fielding said Tuesday that details on a program to help businesses affected by Manitoba’s latest pandemic health restrictions would be released this week.

After new restrictions went into effect on Tuesday, both the opposition NDP and business advocates said the government needed to step in to help.

As part of a measure to combat the threat of the Omicron coronavirus variant, Manitoba restaurants, bars, and theatres are now limited to 50% capacity.

Also read: The number of COVID-19 cases is rising as capacity restrictions

The leader of the New Democratic Party, Wab Kinew, compared the situation to A Christmas Carol, a classic Charles Dickens novella about Ebenezer Scrooge.

“People are losing their jobs, and we’re only a few days away from Christmas,” he said.

According to Shaun Jeffrey, CEO of the Manitoba Restaurants and Food Services Association, restaurants and lounges will lose a lot of money during what is typically their busiest season of the year.

“We’re hoping that the government can come to the table with some kind of assistance with this,” he said, “because our industry is the first to close and the last to open, and we’re bearing the brunt of trying to keep Manitobans safe.”

While the rapid spread of the Omicron variant caught everyone off guard, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce president Chuck Davidson believes it’s time for the province to revisit government support programs for businesses, the majority of which have expired.

Half of Manitoba's 189 COVID-19 cases on Sunday are in the north | CBC News
Help is on the way for Manitoba businesses impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions. Image from CBC

“What we’re looking at right now is [asking] that those businesses that are asked to shoulder the burden of this debt be compensated in return,” he said.

The province claims that assistance is on the way.

“A program to provide additional support for businesses impacted by the recent public health restrictions is being finalized, and details will be announced tomorrow,” Fielding wrote to CBC on Tuesday.

The new limitations have caused a lot of restaurants to close. In addition to halving capacity, reservations for tables of more than 10 people are no longer permitted.

Mitesh Trivedi, the owner of Charisma of India on Corydon Avenue, said two reservations with dozens of people were canceled.

“We were all hoping for a better month this month. We’ve been out of commission in the restaurant since 2019, but things didn’t work out this year as well.”

Source: CBC News

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