WINNIPEG -- Artists, photographers, and other home-based business owners are now eligible for a Manitoba government program that provides support to small businesses.

The province announced Tuesday morning it is extending the deadline for the Manitoba Bridge Grant Program, and offering more businesses the opportunity to apply.

The initial program allowed businesses such as restaurants and retail outlets that had to close as a result of the public health orders to receive a $5,000 grant to help with costs.

The new intake will allow event planners, photographers, and home-based businesses that do not have a storefront to apply for the grant. These businesses were previously ineligible for the grant when the program launched.

“While the public health restrictions are crucial to protect Manitobans and reduce our COVID-19 cases, the impacts are being felt by businesses directly ordered to close their physical storefronts, as well as home-based businesses who have seen their market and source of income greatly reduced because of public health orders that limit gathering sizes and restrict other activities,” Premier Brian Pallister said in a statement.

As of Tuesday, the province has received 6,300 applications from businesses, and have given $31.6 million in payments.

Applications for home-based businesses will go online on Dec. 9.

The deadline for applications is Dec. 31.