April 6, 2020
We are in a time of unprecedented economic hardship. Never before have we seen a pandemic affect the economy on this scale. Employers are being forced to lay off employees and record numbers of people across the nation are being forced to apply for Employment Insurance.
The Manitoba Metis Government has been proactively working to mitigate the impact of this crisis since late December. To date, the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) has implemented a variety of emergency relief programs for our Citizens. A component of this is supporting both entrepreneurs adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis and Citizens who have been laid off as a result of the crisis with no supports.
As an integral component of the MMF Bridge Financing Initiative, the Louis Riel Capital Corporation (LRCC) is offering the COVID-19 Economic Response for Entrepreneurs. This is a program for Metis small business entrepreneurs and commercial fishers who have been negatively impacted by market changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program can help address a variety of issues our Metis entrepreneurs are facing. The LRCC is currently providing three types of supports:
Firstly, the LRCC is approving loan payment deferrals for up to six months for existing clients of the LRCC.
Secondly, the LRCC is contributing a minimum of $1,000 up to $10,000 to Metis businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The amount of the LRCC contribution is based on a number of factors, including: the degree to which the coronavirus has impacted the business; the size of the business based on the number of employees; the immediate needs of the business in order to meet their most urgent obligations in the next 30 days, as well as having some assurance that the capital the LRCC provides will sustain the business in the long run.
If you are a Metis small business owner, entrepreneur, or fisher whose business has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis, please apply to the MMF today. Applications are available online at www.manitobametis.com or mmf.mb.ca, or call the MMF toll free number at 1-800-249-1217 or the LRCC at 1-800-387-6004 to apply. We strongly encourage our Metis entrepreneurs to use the online applications as we are expecting a large influx of calls.
Upon registration you will be asked for your Metis Citizenship number and a copy of your photo ID, your business registration documentation, confirmation of employees, and a voided cheque so we can transfer the funds to your account.
Thirdly, we are offering our entrepreneurs supports navigating the assistance offered from federal government emergency programs.
The Government of Canada is also in the corner of small businesses. Prime Minister Trudeau has announced numerous resources for business owners. Canada will now be providing 75 per cent wage subsidies for businesses in efforts to support entrepreneurs in keeping their employees and returning them to the payroll. Canada has also committed to backing interest-free loans up to $40,000 and deferring GST remittances until the end of June. Additional details can be viewed at www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html.
If you need help understanding what programs are available from the Canada Emergency Business Account, Loan Guarantee for small and medium-sized enterprises, or co-lending programs, please reach out to the LRCC. The LRCC is working diligently to provide direct support to entrepreneurs and help you understand what programs and initiatives are available.
In addition to helping our Manitoba Metis businesses, under the MMF Bridge Financing Initiative, the MMF is here to work alongside governments as programs and services come into place to support individuals and families. The federal government has announced the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit. While applications begin April 6, MMF will help bridge the gap until payments arrive. MMF is here NOW to provide an emergency financial supplement to eligible Metis people to help alleviate the economic hardship caused by the crisis.
These MMF financial supports are being offered to those who have been laid off directly as a result of the COVID-19 crisis with no support from their employers, those who are not able to work due to school and daycare closures, workers on sick leave and not supported by employers, and individuals with disabilities who cannot leave their homes.
We, the Manitoba Metis, are known for our entrepreneurial abilities and hard work. Though Metis businesses may be suffering from this crisis, you can rest assured the Manitoba Metis Government is on your side and here to support you through these difficult times. MMF is focused on the well-being of our Citizens and we will do all that is possible to ensure our Citizens are looked after.