Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce looking for provincial help for business owners
WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce is calling for help from the province, saying some businesses are in danger of shutting down for good due to COVID-19.
Lisa Flather, owner of the home décor shop Adorn in St. Vital is one of the businesses feeling the impact of the virus. Flather will be closing her doors soon, less than a year after opening.
“It was a really hard decision I had to make,” she said. “It was a really difficult decision.”
Flather said the lack of income for the business, along with mounting bills and lack of childcare options for her two children, made it impossible for her to stay afloat.
Adorn has joined a growing list of businesses that are folding, including restaurants Segovia and Hermanos.
Local chambers of commerce say many businesses are still struggling.
A survey by the Manitoba and Winnipeg Chambers of Commerce, conducted by Leger, found half of the businesses surveyed in the province expect it will take one year to pick up, while 16 per cent of those surveyed said they may never rebound.
“Commercial rent continues to be a major challenge for so many business tenants and as well for so many landlords,” said Loren Remillard with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.
While the federal government is offering rent relief to landlords and tenants, Remillard said the relief doesn’t go far enough. He said the chamber wants the Manitoba government to step in.
He said they want the province to pay the portion landlords were expected to pay under the federal program.
Until then, entrepreneurs like Flather are trying to adapt during the uncertain times.
“I’m just going to continue with my home decorating business, that will still continue, because I enjoy what I do,” she said.