The Premier of Manitoba is announcing a second round of a grant program aimed at supporting local businesses.

Premier Brian Pallister says that their Manitoba Bridge Grant is easily accessed and the most generous support program for small businesses across Canada.

Extending to a new deadline of January 31, the tourism industry is being added to the list of eligible businesses. New to the list includes hotels, lodges, travel agencies, and resorts. Janitorial and owner-operators passenger transport companies are additionally being included in the program.

The taxable grant program has previously included home-based businesses, not-for-profits and charities, along with small and medium-sized businesses. Those continue to be eligible for the second round, receiving a second payment of up to $5,000. Those who applied for the first round would have received the direct deposit payment between January 8 and 10.

New applicants could receive up to $10,000 during this round. The Premier says that the funds will not make up for all profits lost or the emotional hardships being faced, but is hoping it helps businesses. 

Pallister says that over $100 million has been given to support over 10,000 businesses in the province. He says approximately $420 million in COVID-19 supports have been given to businesses within the past year.

The Premier is hoping to gradually reopen as soon as it is deemed safe enough to. Pallister says that the goal is to have businesses gradually reopen without worrying about "yo-yoing" closures and openings.