March 26, 2020
Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg, MB—Leader of the Official Opposition, Wab Kinew, NDP MLA for St. Vital Jamie Moses and NDP MP for Winnipeg-Centre Leah Gazan called on the provincial government to immediately expand supports for small businesses and self-employed Manitobans affected by COVID-19.
“Small businesses need support right away,” said Kinew. “They deserve targeted supports from the provincial government that helps them and their employees through this period and allows them to rebuild once isolation orders have lifted.”
"Small and medium businesses are the heart and soul of Winnipeg Centre," said Gazan. "Amid COVID-19, immediate support is necessary for local small businesses that are the largest employer while contributing billions of dollars into the Canadian economy. We must protect Manitoba’s future by supporting local small businesses and jobs now.”
The NDP called on the provincial government to:
Provide grants and interest-free loans for small and medium sized businesses facing cash flow issues due to reduced revenue;
Provide a 75% wage subsidy for workers so businesses can continue payroll;
Change lease and mortgage rules to allow businesses to defer payments for rent, mortgage, equipment and utilities as well as taxes; and
Extend supports for self-employed Manitobans struggling to maintain income.
“Under our proposed plan small businesses would have more help, while being able to plan ahead for economic uncertainty and tightening credit conditions,” said Moses. “We’ve been talking to small business owners and employees throughout this process and we value their
place in both our community and local economy.”
Yesterday the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released a study that shows more than half of the 11,000 businesses polled have had to lay off staff and 60% of buisnesses are reporting a significant drop in sales.
The Official Opposition is committed to working with the province to support the fight against COVID-19.