If there is one thing we can count on from Winnipeggers, it’s their tenaciousness to push through a crisis, to solve the problems before them and defy the odds. Up until now, the entire community has been dealing with the pandemic on a day-to-day basis trying to keep their families safe and keep their businesses afloat.
As we continue to observe the required health measures, we need to begin looking at a framework for the restarting of our economy and creating an environment for our businesses to be successful again.
We have begun working with government, companies and industry to start mapping out our recovery in phases.
We’re in Phase I, helping companies work through the current situation and navigate financial help.
In Phase II- we want to get back to business.
That means easing restrictions and helping companies understand best practices and protocols for returning to work.
In Phase III, we’ll look at recovery and growth.
We’ll connect companies to capital, addressing workforce demands and finding opportunities for business, investment and tourism, while reminding the world about the Winnipeg advantage.
We will also remain nimble and shift or adjust this plan as required, to meet the concerns or needs of business.
Some companies have concerns about what health measures they need to consider before getting back to business. These include:
- The process for a full or gradual opening
- Social distancing protocols
- Temperature taking of employees or other testing measures
- Personal Protective Equipment requirements
- Gathering size limits
Other concerns are around creating a level playing field for companies. As we ease restrictions, how do we do this in the most equitable way? For example, some furniture stores have been forced to close but some big-box stores are continuing to sell furniture. How do we enable those retailers to begin to compete again?
We need to all work together, dig in and help local companies, where we can. A great example of this is a project led by Sherpa Marketing with seven Winnipeg agencies, including PivotTurn and Direct Focus. The Adopt-a-business challenge is giving smaller companies up to $25,000 in marketing assistance if they have less than $800,000 in revenue a year or have seen a 50 per cent drop in business.
Our YES! Winnipeg team is still working to help companies if they have questions or concerns. They can reach out to our team via our webform on our COVID-19 toolkit page or through our team member page. We need to challenge everyone to look ahead on our road to recovery. It will not be easy, but our city is filled with resilient people with a history of consistently rising to challenges and surpassing expectations. Let’s get to work.