Last week was Small Business Week in Canada, a time to recognize and support all the small businesses in Saint Boniface – Saint Vital and across Canada. Choosing to go out on your own to start up and run a small business takes hard work at the best of times – doing so in a global pandemic is an unprecedented challenge.
Small businesses are at the heart of our community. They add vitality and colour to our neighbourhoods, and they employ our friends and neighbours. They are the lifeblood of our cities and towns across the country. These businesses are built on tenacity, sacrifice, and years of hard work.
Businesses have made incredible sacrifices over these last few months, and they continue to contribute to our communities every day. Small business owners have demonstrated true resilience amid COVID-19, and that is especially true in our community. They have been innovating and adapting their business models or looking to new markets for opportunities for growth.
Now more than ever, they need our support. Saint Boniface – Saint Vital is very fortunate to have a large number of great community-focused small businesses. From the shops on Provencher to the veterinarian in St. Vital, from the restaurant in Southdale to the bike shop on St. Mary’s Road. Whether you live in Island Lakes or Norwood Flats, we all have favourite local spots that need our support. Talk to your friends and neighbours and discover new local businesses! Afterall, these are the businesses who keep our community, and our economy, humming.
With the recent rise in cases in Manitoba, many businesses are facing further restrictions and closures – and I want you to know that our government will continue to be there for you, every step of the way through this crisis. We launched the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Business Account and the Regional Relief Recovery Fund.
Building on the Canada Emergency Rent Assistance program, we just launched a new rent program, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which will provide simple and easy-to-access rent and mortgage support for business owners who need it most. Contact my office if you need further information on these programs.
To all small businesses in Saint Boniface – Saint Vital and across Manitoba, and the thousands of people they employ – thank you. I know that behind those storefronts are stories of perseverance, resilience and resourcefulness. This year more than ever, as Christmas nears, I encourage you all StB-StV residents to shop local.