Manitoba Expands Sector Support for Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Authors: Dany Théberge, Christine Jeroski

This blog was originally published on December 22, 2021 and has been updated to reflect recent changes.

UPDATE: The Manitoba government announced on February 2, 2022 that it is expanding eligibility retroactively under the Sector Support Program to include event rental facilities, caterers and photographers. The program will also provide second payments to those affected by the COVID-19 public health orders released in December 2021 and that applied before January 31, 2022 (and event rental facilities, caterers and photographers).

The program’s intake period has also been extended until February 28, 2022.

The Sector Support Program offers financial relief to eligible businesses in defined sectors which include:

  • food service facilities that primarily rely on dine-in food services, including restaurants, hotels and resorts;
  • bars, lounges and similar licensed premises
  • gyms and other sports or fitness centres;
  • indoor recreational facilities;
  • movie and other theatres;
  • concert halls and performance venues;
  • heritage institutions such as museums and galleries; and
  • event rental facilities;
  • caterers; and
  • photographers (studio-based or freelance)

Available assistance

Eligible businesses that applied in January (or an event rental facilities, caterers or photographers) are eligible to apply in February for assistance based on the number of workers employed for the last pay period that preceded the December 21, 2021 public health orders:

  • $6,000 for businesses with up to nine employees
  • $12,000 for businesses with 10 to 19 employees
  • $18,000 for businesses with 20 to 49 employees
  • $24,000 for businesses with 50 or more employees

One worker includes either a full-time or part-time employee.

Important note:

Eligible applicants who applied by January 31 and received a first payment will need to re-apply to the program to receive a second payment of an amount equal to the first payment.

Eligible applicants who did not apply by January 31 do not qualify for the entire funding amounts stated above, except for event rental facilities, caterers and photographers. Applicants who missed the first round of support will qualify for the following amounts:

  • $3,000 for businesses with up to nine employees
  • $6,000 for businesses with 10 to 19 employees
  • $9,000 for businesses with 20 to 49 employees
  • $12,000 for businesses with 50 or more employees

Businesses may apply through an online assessment tool and have until February 28, 2022 to apply for the grant through the Sector Support Program.

More information on the program and eligibility criteria can be accessed here.

Employers seeking guidance regarding the new Sector Support Program should contact a member of our labour and employment team in Winnipeg.

Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.