The Manitoba government is offering some financial aid to small- and medium-sized businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic through the Manitoba Gap Protection Program (MGPP).
Premier Brian Pallister says interest-free loans of $6,000 will be available to businesses that have had to scale back operations.
The loans will be forgiven at the end of the year for businesses that have not qualified for federal programs.
Pallister says the money is not enough to make up for all the revenue being lost by businesses, but should help employers make it through the coming months.
Pallister has faced criticism from some business leaders for not offering direct financial assistance until now.
The program is expected to cost the government $120 million.
To be eligible for the Manitoba Gap Protection Program (MGPP) funding, a business must:
• have been operational on March 20, 2020, the date the Manitoba government declared a provincewide state of emergency under The Emergency Measures Act because of COVID-19;
• have temporarily ceased or curtailed operations as a result of a COVID-19 public health order and have been harmed by the health order;
• be registered and in good standing with the Manitoba Business and Corporate Registry;
• have not qualified for federal government COVID-19 grant support; and
• have an email address and a bank account.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 22, 2020
The Canadian Press