Novel Coronavirus COVID-19
 


Information for Businesses


On this page:




Public Health Orders
Public health orders were issued on March 30th and come into effect at 12:01 a.m. on April 1. Please visit the State of Emergency page to see if these orders affect your business or workplace.




Manitoba Economic Support Centre


Many businesses and not-for-profits in Manitoba are facing significant challenges due to COVID-19. If you're one of them, the Manitoba Economic Support Centre is here for you.

Call us to learn more about provincial and federal support programs like wage subsidies, loans, rent assistance, hiring students and the new Manitoba Gap Protection Program.

Dial 1-888-805-7554 today to speak with a service representative at the Manitoba Economic Support Centre.

You may be eligible for the following:

Provincial Support Programs
  • Commercial Rent Assist Support: To enhance federal rent assist program with funding for commercial operations in Manitoba
Federal Support Programs
  • 10% Wage Subsidy: A 3 month measure to allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions to be remitted to CRA
  • 75% Wage Subsidy: For eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020
  • $40,000 Interest-free Loan: To help small business and organizations cover their operating costs during a period when revenues have been reduced

Learn more about these Federal Programs.




The Manitoba government has implemented a number of initiatives to support Manitoba businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • the Manitoba Gap Protection Plan will provide small and medium-sized businesses a non-interest bearing forgivable loan of $6,000 to businesses that do not qualify under federal programs;
  • launching a new call centre to help businesses, non-profits and charities to connect with support programs;
  • extending the April and May tax filing deadlines for Retail Sales Tax until June 22, 2020 for small and medium businesses with monthly RST remittances of no more than $10,000 (see this bulletin for full details);
  • not charging interest or penalties for Manitoba Hydro, Centra Gas, Workers Compensation Board and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI);
  • not disconnecting customers of Manitoba Hydro and Centra Gas;
  • relax ordinary practices on policy renewals and collections at MPI;
  • not charge interest on Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries receivables from restaurants, bars and specialty wine stores; and
  • not charging interest on education property taxes.
  • The Manitoba government is investing up to $120M in a new wage subsidy program to support employers from the private and non-profit sectors to hire high school and post secondary students this summer. Employers are eligible to receive a $7 per hour wage subsidy, up to $5,000 per student, for a maximum of 5 students. The program is available for student employment between May 1 and September 4, 2020.

For assistance in accessing any of the Manitoba Protection Plan supports, contact the Manitoba Economic Support Centre at 1-888-805-7554.

For more information:

April 22, 2020 - Province to Provide $120 Million of Support to Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Harmed by COVID-19

April 3, 2020 - Province Announces Over $100 Million in Support and Relief for Manitoba's Fight Against COVID-19


The Government of Canada has introduced support programs for Canadian businesses facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employment Insurance Work-Sharing Program
The federal government is enhancing the work-sharing program to help support employers and workers who are impacted by a downturn in business due to the coronavirus, and making tax payment arrangements more flexible. For more information:

Changes to Immigration Services for Your Skilled Workers
International students, skilled workers, and entrepreneurs from all over the world are making Manitoba their new home. Visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website for information on federal special measures to help temporary and permanent residents and applicants affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Government of Canada Call to Action for Manufacturers
If you are a Canadian manufacturer or business that is prepared to rapidly scale up production or re-tool your manufacturing lines to develop products made in Canada to help in the fight against COVID-19, please contact the Government of Canada.

Canada's Agricultural Sector
The federal government has announced a number of programs to support Canada's agricultural sector, including helping producers with additional costs, helping redistribute existing and unsold inventories, increasing interim AgriStabilty payments and expanding AgriInsurance to include labour shortages. In addition, Farm Credit Canada has new supports in place, including loan deferrals and increased lending capacity for producers, agribusinesses and food processors.

Temporary Wage Subsidy
The Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy provides a 75 per cent wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This wage subsidy aims to prevent further job losses, encourage employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, and help better position Canadian companies and other employers to more easily resume normal operations following the crisis.

Corporate Income Tax Return and Payment Deferral
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced additional measures on March 26, 2020 in regard to the extension of tax reporting deadlines.

Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments
The Government of Canada is deferring Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) remittances and customs duty payments to June 30, 2020.

Deferral of Customs Duty and Sales Tax for Importers
Payment deadlines for statements of accounts for March, April, and May are being deferred to June 30, 2020.

New Loan Programs for Businesses
The Government of Canada is announcing the launch of the new Canada Emergency Business Account to ensure small businesses have access to the capital they need to see them through the current challenges.

Canada Revenue Agency’s Additional Measures for Individuals and Businesses
The Government of Canada has introduced other measures including administrative tax measures, extending deadlines for trusts, partnerships and NR4 information returns, continuing to process objections, extending deadlines for filing objections, filing appeals for Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance, extending deadlines for charities, suspending audit activities and suspending collections on new debt.

Canada's Energy Sector
The federal government has announced more than $2 billion in support for Canada's energy sector.

Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations
The federal government has established a $500 million COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for cultural, heritage and sport organizations that will help address the financial needs of affected organizations so they can continue to support artists and athletes.

Business Credit Availability Program
A new COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for cultural, heritage and sport organizations will provide $500 million to help address the financial needs of affected organizations.

Bridge Funding Support for Business
The government will provide $675 million to support the work of Canada's regional development agencies (RDAs) to provide equivalent bridge financing support to businesses unable to access the government's broader support measures.

Assistance for Entrepreneurs
To support ongoing lending to young entrepreneurs, the government is also injecting $20.1 million through Futurpreneur Canada and $250 million through the Industrial Research Assistance Program.

Non-Profits and Charitable Organizations
The federal government is investing $350 million to deliver essential services to those in need.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) Program
This program for small businesses will seek to provide loans and/or forgivable loans to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June.



For non-profit arts and cultural organizations who receive funding from government agencies, please visit the following links for updates:



Support from Financial Institutions
Canada’s financial institutions are offering various degrees of support to citizen and business members. Please consult your institution directly.

Manitoba credit union and caisse populaire members are advised to direct any questions about hours, service, and supports to members directly to their individual branches. Click here for contact information for these institutions.




Manufacture or Supply for Manitoba

April 11, 2020: Pursuing Made-in-Manitoba Solutions
We are asking Manitoba manufacturers or businesses to rapidly scale up production or re-tool their manufacturing lines to develop masks designed in Manitoba.

Expression of Interest for N-95 Reusable Masks Manufacturing



Call to Action for Manufacturers
If you are a Manitoban manufacturer or business that is prepared to rapidly scale up production or re-tool your manufacturing lines to develop products made in Manitoba to help in the fight against COVID-19, please complete the submission form.

Call to Action for Suppliers/Distributors
If you are a Manitoba Supplier/Distributor with inventory or established channels to products to help in the fight against COVID-19, please complete the submission form.

Donate to Shared Health
As Shared Health continues with preparations to ensure Manitoba can meet the needs of our patients and to ensure appropriate protection from COVID-19 is available to health care workers, donations of supplies are welcome and greatly appreciated. For a list of supplies that can be donated, visit sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/supply-donations.




Ensure Safe, Healthy Workplaces


The #COVIDCarefulMB Program

Being COVID Careful means seeking out reliable, accurate information and taking the necessary precautions to keep you and those you care about safe from COVID-19.


To help reduce the spread of communicable diseases and viruses, including COVID-19, workplaces should have an infection prevention and control plan, which may include:

  • encouraging employees to NOT come to work if they are feeling unwell (e.g., coughing, sneezing, fever or runny nose)
  • reviewing sick-leave policies to encourage employees to stay home when ill, to reduce transmission to other coworkers and clients
  • reviewing requirements for medical (sick) notes, to reduce burden on the health care system and additional exposure to ill individuals
  • ensuring emergency contact information is current for all employees, in case communication be required in a timely manner
  • providing clean handwashing facilities and alcohol-based hand cleansers in multiple locations throughout the building (e.g., entrances, boardrooms and break rooms).
  • posting signage in the workplace, encouraging proper cough etiquette and hand hygiene (provincial posters are available in multiple languages at: https://sharedhealthmb.ca/health-providers/coronavirus-resources/
  • regularly cleaning workstations and objects with disinfectants that are touched frequently, such as doorknobs, handles, elevator buttons and railings. This includes regularly disinfecting electronic devices (e.g., phones, tablets, laptops) with an alcohol (70 per cent) wipe. Workplaces are encouraged to increase the frequency of cleaning workstations and worksites to at least two times per day.
  • providing boxes of tissues and encouraging their use
  • reminding staff to avoid sharing cups, glasses, dishes or cutlery, and ensuring cups, glasses, dishes, and cutlery are thoroughly cleaned using soap and warm water after each use, or placed in the dishwasher for cleaning
  • following safe food handling procedures
  • removing magazines, papers and other objects that cannot be cleaned from common rooms, such as cafeterias, kitchens, break rooms and waiting areas
  • ensuring ventilation systems are working properly, including opening windows as weather permits
  • using social distancing techniques to conduct as much business as possible, including telephone and video conferencing, as well as allowing employees to work from home or work flexible hours to avoid peak public transportation times or crowding in the workplace
  • encouraging employees who are required to report for work in-person (e.g., health care workers, service industry employees), to take public transit during non-peak times as much as possible to get to work. Alternatively, support employees as much as possible to use a personal vehicle to get to work
  • identifying an area that an employee can self-isolate and develop a plan, should they become ill while at work
  • avoid sharing office equipment or supplies, including electronic devices (e.g., phones, tablets, laptops)
  • encouraging cashless transactions in service industry workplaces
  • To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, do not make determinations of risk for COVID-19 based on race or country of origin. And be sure to maintain confidentiality, should an employee be confirmed to have COVID-19 or other communicable illness.
  • Some individuals may have been exposed to COVID-19 through direct contact with an ill person or in their recent travels, and are therefore self-isolating and monitoring themselves for symptoms for up to 14 days (see the Self-Isolation Factsheet for more information). Contact your local public health office if your employer requires an exclusion letter from work. Any questions about pay and benefits should be discussed with your employer.

An employee at my workplace tested positive. What information should I provide to other employees and customers?

Businesses are advised not to provide any personal health information about an employee to staff or customers. Public Health conducts a public health investigation to determine if someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19 was at work during the time they were infectious.

Public health officials work closely with people who have tested positive for COVID-19. This includes addressing their health concerns and determining who they may have had close (2 metres/6 feet), prolonged contact with when they were infectious.

Public health officials will then directly contact every person deemed to be a close contact, defined as having had significant exposure to the positive

COVID-19 individual when they were infectious. Public health makes contact as quickly as possible with all identified contacts.

If any additional measures need to be taken at your workplace, public health officials will call you directly to provide advice.

What can my business do to ensure the safety of employees and customers?

Businesses may continue to operate in accordance with the public health orders in place. Encourage staff to continue social distancing practices, enhance cleaning schedules of high-traffic areas and maintain thorough and regular hand hygiene and cough etiquette.

The COVID-19 pandemic brings a high level of stress and anxiety as it rapidly changes the way we work, socialize and live. Caring for your mental health, as well as supporting your staff, is important in these times. For more resources, visit the Care for Your Mental Health page.


Many businesses are currently faced with extremely difficult decisions on how to manage their operations when faced with unprecedented business conditions. Please visit the Employment Standards website for information regarding rights and responsibilities in the workplace.

Public health authorities strongly recommend employers suspend interprovincial business travel.  Exceptions have been made for workers performing essential cross-border functions (e.g.: long-haul truckers). Employees who have travelled outside of Canada must self-isolate at home for 14 days upon their return.


Under The Workplace Safety and Health Act, workers have the right to refuse work that they reasonably believe constitutes a danger to their safety and health, or that of another person should they perform the task. There is a legal process that work refusals must follow. This PDF offers a summary of the standard process. However, workplaces with collective agreements in place may have additional steps or requirements.

Before contacting the Manitoba Labour Board, please review the following information. However, please note that the below is only intended to serve as a guide, and for general information only.  
If you are not represented by a union and have questions regarding layoffs, termination and group terminations, visit the Manitoba Employment Standards Branch website or contact by phone at 204-945-3352. You can also consult their Fact Sheet on Termination of Employment.

If you are not represented by a union and have questions regarding job-protected leave visit the Manitoba Employment Standards Branch website or contact by phone at 204-945-3352.

If you are represented by a union, please consult your collective agreement, or contact your union.
To answer your questions regarding long-term leave for serious injury or illness, visit the Manitoba Employment Standards Branch website or contact by phone at 204-945-3352.  You may also consult their Fact Sheet on Long-Term Leave for Serious Injury or Illness.

If you wish to apply for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits or have questions related to EI benefits, please call 1-800-206-7218 or visit their website Employment Insurance benefits.

As of March 27, 2020, The Manitoba government is adding a temporary exception to employment standards regulations to give employers more time to recall employees laid off as a result of COVID-19. This temporary amendment ensures that any period of layoff occurring after March 1, 2020, will not be counted toward the period after which a temporary layoff would become a permanent termination. For further information, please see the news release or contact Employment Standards.

If you have questions regarding your right to refuse work that you reasonably believe constitutes a danger to your safety and health, please call 1-855-957-SAFE (7233) or visit their website Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health (WSH)https://www.gov.mb.ca/labour/safety/.

NEW Last updated: May 7, 2020

Information has been developed to support businesses permitted to operate as per Manitoba’s Pandemic and Economic Roadmap for Recovery, while reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 among employees, volunteers and patrons. This document provides overarching advice applicable to all businesses. Read the Workplace Guidance for Business Owners (pdf) for more information.