The Manitoba government is expanding its Back To Work wage subsidy program and providing additional financial support for businesses to bring more Manitobans back. Premier Brian Pallister made that announcement Wednesday morning as part of #RestartMB, Manitoba's roadmap to recovery.
"Since the beginning of this pandemic, we knew we had to create opportunities for young Manitobans and we've created them," says Pallister. "We have supported the creation of 8,200 additional positions for young people and now we lead the country, but there is still work to do. Today, I am proud to announce the expansion of our Back to Work wage subsidy program to provide more opportunities for businesses to offer the services Manitobans depend and rely on."
The enhanced Back to Work program will reimburse up to $5,000 for up to ten new workers to a maximum of $50,000 per business, not for profit or charity. Businesses that have already benefited from provincial summer wage subsidies are eligible for this new wage subsidy benefit to hire or bring back an additional ten employees. The program will now reimburse half of all wages for those newly hired to Oct. 31. Employers that have received financial support from other various provincial and federal programs are all eligible, the premier notes.
Over the past month, more than 300 Manitoba businesses have applied for approximately $5 million to support 1,000 positions.
"Many retailers are only now beginning to slowly rebuild their staffing to their levels prior to the onset of COVID-19," said John Graham of the Retail Council of Canada. "The extension of this job creation incentive will play a critical role in helping many business owners lessen the risk of expanding their workforce in anticipation of business growth."
The application deadline is Oct. 1, with a deadline to submit proof of wages of Jan. 4, 2021. Businesses can apply for the wage subsidy starting July 16 at noon at https://manitoba.ca/covid19/business/btwmp.html.
Although Manitoba posted the second-best job recovery statistics in the country last month, Pallister notes there are still more than 69,000 Manitobans looking for work.
"Getting people back to work safely is job number one for our government," says Pallister. "We are leading the country in putting in place the most generous and most comprehensive job creation programs our province has ever seen and any province has put in place."
As an additional support for Manitoba businesses, the government also announced today that it will be extending the Manitoba Gap Protection Program deadline for applications to Aug. 31 from July 31. Businesses that are ineligible for federal support can also apply for an immediate $6,000 under this program, which has already provided more than $45 million in COVID business relief to over 7,600 employers who otherwise had no government support.
"Our suite of job creation programs is designed to give Manitoba workers and employers the right support at the right time for the right job opportunity," says Pallister. "We are looking ahead to build our economy back even stronger."
More than 2,500 Manitobans have already applied for the Manitoba Job Restart Program, which provides up to $2,000 to those who safely return to work and voluntarily stop collecting the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). The program application deadline is July 31.