The Manitoba government is committing $1.5 million to the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce to help support and protect local businesses impacted by COVID-19 public health orders, Economic Development and Training Minister Ralph Eichler announced today.
“Manitoba’s local businesses are finding many creative and innovative ways to provide their services and keep Manitobans safe from COVID-19,” said Eichler. “We know this funding will help meet the evolving needs of businesses, and accelerate and amplify the efforts made by the business community so we can truly make a difference in helping Manitoba retailers generate revenue during this year’s holiday shopping season.”
Based on recommendations from business leaders to help small businesses directly impacted by public health restrictions to keep Manitobans safe from COVID-19, the province committed $1.5 million to the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce to help support business and chambers throughout Manitoba in developing and promoting their community businesses.
“The Chamber network is thrilled with the announcement of funding for local businesses throughout the province,” said Chuck Davidson, president and CEO, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. “These funds will have a direct and immediate impact by supporting a variety of community-focused, grassroots Shop Local campaigns and initiatives organized by many of the 69 local Chambers of Commerce across Manitoba.”
This is the first project rolled out from the initial supporting funds of up to $50 million announcedNov. 10 for business groups such as the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW) to provide a detailed plan to government on long-term recovery funding to help Manitoba businesses adapt and thrive coming out of COVID-19.
“In times when restrictions are keeping Manitobans out of their favourite local retailers, we need to find new and creative ways to support our local businesses,” said Dayna Spiring, CEO, Economic Development Winnipeg. “Local businesses are here for us this holiday season and the funds announced today are one way we can be there for them.”
The province has been collaborating with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and EDW to find ways to help local business owners who have been affected by COVID-19 public health orders and Eichler thanked the organizations for their initial input over the past few weeks that led to today’s announcement.
Along with support for chambers to promote local businesses, which can be used on projects such as local shopping guides for the holiday season, the $1.5 million will also help the GoodLocal online shopping platform and delivery service in the capital region, which connects local makers and merchants with buyers at www.goodlocal.ca.
The locally developed web portal acts as a one-stop shop to have items delivered to customers’ doors. The funding will allow GoodLocal to support more vendors, makers and farmers while improving their customer interface to enhance sales. “I started GoodLocal out of my desire to support local. I wanted my money to make the biggest impact and to get into the hands of local business owners and makers. GoodLocal is the platform that connects Everything Good and Everything Local,” said Obby Khan, co-founder of Good Local. “A place where local makers, businesses and growers can sell their products and leave the delivering to us. Money spent in Manitoba, stays in Manitoba to support Manitobans. Now Manitobans can stay home, stay safe and grow the local economy all while supporting their own neighbours.”
Today’s announcement builds upon the province’s #ShopLocalMB campaign, a new digital campaign that encourages safe local shopping.
The new #ShopLocalMB campaign has enlisted a local design company to tell the stories of Manitoba businesses, entrepreneurs, makers and creators. The messages will reinforce reminders of how to shop safely, which includes using delivery, in-store pickup or drive-thru options whenever possible, and following public health fundamentals if in-person shopping is required.