‘TIS THE SEASON
The Altona FREE Santa Delivery Service is on the fly! Santa and his crew of Volunteers from the Altona Elks Club and The Station are ready to provide contactless delivery of your orders all over Altona.

Businesses, simply call or text the Chamber Office at 204-823-3110 or email: manager@shopaltona.com
before 4:00, 7 days a week up to January 10, 2021, to book pick up.
Last week, the Manitoba government expedited the proclamation of new legislation to allow retailers to stay open later on Sundays and on some holidays. Bill 4 took took effect this past weekend, Saturday, Dec. 12, at the same time as updated public health orders went into effect to continue restricting gatherings at private residences and allowing critical retailers to only sell essential items.

“Given the current public health restrictions in place to protect Manitobans, we want to provide flexibility to businesses and customers and allow more opportunity for curbside pickup and delivery options as well as longer in-person shopping hours to minimize crowds,” said Honourable Scott Fielding, Minister of Finance. “During this critical time for retailers across the province, we believe these updated laws will help many businesses with additional revenues as we head into the holiday season.”

In mid-November, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, Retail Council of Canada, and The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce sent an open letter to government requesting they expedite the implementation and passage of Bill 4 - The Retail Business Hours of Operation Act (Various Acts Amended or Repealed). This bill eliminates retail shopping hour restrictions so businesses are no longer required to close after 6 p.m. on Sundays and certain statutory holidays. However, it gives municipalities the authority to pass bylaws, should they prefer to keep some restrictions in place.

Davidson says that the MCC and industry partners recommended a host of other possible measures to government that could provide support to businesses struggling amid the restrictions.

"We suggested a 15% capacity for small retail, and that government consider lifting the red restrictions in certain areas of the province where the case numbers are lower, as per the Pandemic Response System. Unfortunately, we understand that the number one priority right now is getting the COVID situation under control."
SAFE AT HOME MANITOBA GRANT: This grant will provide $3 million in funding to a wide variety of Manitoba organizations and individuals who are able to produce free programming for Manitobans to stay safe at home, such as live streaming of the performing arts, cooking classes, at-home fitness programs, and home-based art programs for children. Eligible applicants include MB municipalities, First Nations, local authorities, not-for-profits, charitable and for-profit businesses, government agencies, post-secondary institutions, and individual artists and are eligible to apply for up to $50,000 per project. Applications opened on December 7, 2020 and will be evaluated and approved on a continuous basis until the fund is fully allocated. 

APPLICATION WINDOW EXTENDED to DEC. 31/2020: $5K Manitoba Bridge Grant (storefront businesses)
Manitoba organizations required to close under current public health orders are able to apply online for the $5,000 Manitoba Bridge Grant. This grant is accessible to small and medium-sized businesses and organizations required to fully close their premises to the public because of Manitoba COVID-19 public health orders in effect as of Nov. 12. The program application deadline has been extended to Dec.31/2020. Should the public health orders remain in place past Jan. 1, 2021, the Bridge Grant may be extended to provide an additional $5,000 to eligible organizations in 2021.

NEW! OPEN FOR APPLICATION to DEC. 31/2020: $5K Manitoba Bridge Grant (stream B for home-based businesses) provides a maximum grant equal of up to $5,000 to eligible full-time Manitoba home-based businesses that have been impacted by Manitoba COVID-19 Prevention Orders in effect as of Nov. 12, 2020 or any revisions to those Orders. Qualifying applicants will receive a grant in the amount equal to 10 per cent of their 2019 gross income, to a maximum contribution of $5,000.

OPEN FOR APPLICATION: The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), which picks up where the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) left off on Sept. 27/2020, provides easy-to-access rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19, including a top-up for those affected by lock-downs.