WINNIPEG - The provincial government says it’s creating a $30 million wage support fund to help businesses reopen, while providing employees with an incentive to get vaccinated and return to work.
“As we continue to loosen restrictions this summer as vaccination rates increase, this new wage support will help ensure a smooth and steady reopening path and support employers,” Premier Brian Pallister explains. Under what the province calls the Healthy Hire Program, employers can apply to receive up to $50,000 in funding toward the wages of up to 10 new workers who have either already been vaccinated or plan to be vaccinated.
Businesses, not-for-profits, and charities that qualify for the grant would receive 50 per cent of employee wages up to $5,000 per employee. Included are also rehires who had been laid off because of public health orders or otherwise had previously had worked for the employer.
The province is encouraging businesses leaders to review info on eligibility criteria, as well as other provincial support programs online.
COVID-19 restrictions, many of which have impacted Manitoba businesses, are loosening Saturday morning, allowing Manitobans to dine in restaurants, get their hair and nails done at salons, work out at the gym. Private outdoor gatherings now have a maximum of 10 people, and public gatherings are capped at 25.
The province also says it’s extending and expanding its Bridge Grant program, which provides grants of up to $5,000 to non-profits and small to medium-sized businesses, with around $5 million in additional funding, and opening the program to new applicants, including seasonal businesses.