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Commitment to Manitoba Economy Exceeds $700 Million in 2020-21: Pallister and Eichler
The Manitoba government has expanded its Back to Work in Manitoba Wage Subsidy Program as part of its continued commitment to safely restarting the provincial economy, Premier Brian Pallister and Economic Development and Training Minister Ralph Eichler announced today.
“The Back to Work wage subsidy is benefiting hundreds of Manitoba businesses that are bringing back employees who were laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic, and hiring more staff to boost their operations and provide valued services to Manitobans,” said Pallister. “Manitoba has designed some of Canada’s strongest support programs to help relieve small businesses of unexpected financial burdens and flexibly address each employer’s specific needs so they can redirect labour savings to resources they need to safely reopen.”
Through the Back to Work initiative, private-sector and non-profit employers can receive up to $100,000 to subsidize 20 employees (up to $5,000 per employee) hired since July 16.
Today, the province extended the program by two months until Dec. 31 and announced employers are now able to rehire students previously hired through the Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program, Canada Summer Job Program and Green Team Program. The province confirmed new start-up companies are eligible, providing they have a business number.
“Extending the program through the calendar year will support seasonal winter businesses and allow existing employers to use the program for a greater length of time into the holiday season,” said Eichler. “Youth employment remains a focus of our government, and we want to give employers the flexibility to rehire summer students, which increases job creation and benefits post-secondary students and businesses alike.”
To date, the Back to Work Manitoba Initiative has received more than 800 applications from employers for 4,500 positions and $22.6 million in supports. Some of the top participating sectors include retail trade (16 per cent), agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (12 per cent), and accommodation and food services (eight per cent).
The premier and minister highlighted the province’s ongoing business outreach throughout the pandemic, such as regular calls with key business stakeholders, including the restaurant and food services industry, to hear their challenges and input to shape provincial response plans.
The Manitoba government has authorized expenditures of $714 million in 2020-21 to support businesses and not-for-profit organizations through supports such as conditional non-repayable loans and working capital, targeted wage subsidies, rent supports, deferred fees and interest, rebates, infrastructure spending as well as non-financial support.
Programs include the $120-million Manitoba Gap Protection Program, which provides a one-time $6,000 non-interest-bearing forgivable loan to eligible Manitoba small and medium-sized businesses; $120 million for the Back to Work This Summer Initiative and Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program; and $350 million for infrastructure construction projects as part of the two-year, $500-million Manitoba Restart Capital Program.
Recent labour force statistics that show nearly 70 per cent of Manitobans who lost their jobs in March and April have been rehired, and Pallister and Eichler confirmed the province’s commitment to get even more employees back to work.
The Back to Work Manitoba Wage Subsidy application deadline is now Dec. 1. Employers will be required to provide proof of payment of wages by Feb. 1, 2021. Program details and the application form are available online at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/restartmb/btwmp.html.
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