Manitoba offers funding to develop online food sales and hire students

The governments of Canada and Manitoba will be providing a total of $160,000 through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to Direct Farm Manitoba to purchase a software platform that will allow Manitobans to order food online from local producers and farmers’ markets, the province says.

The funding will also go toward the development of a network of pickup and delivery options to connect consumers with their orders and the development of COVID-19 safe handling and packaging practices for producers and processors.

The Manitoba government has also launched the Summer Student Recovery Plan, a new wage subsidy program for high school and post-secondary students employed in the private and non-profit sectors.

“The new wage subsidy program will support our students and connect them to summer jobs that help pay for their studies and also provide the opportunity to gain valuable work experience,” says Premier Brian Pallister. “Students can help businesses adapt their workplaces for social distancing as work resumes, and this new wage subsidy program will help offset staffing costs in this challenging time.”

Under the new program, up to $120 million is available for employers to access a $7 per hour wage subsidy, up to a maximum of $5,000 per student. The program is open to Manitoba students aged 15 to 29, with an employment period from May 1 to Sept. 4. Employers can be subsidized to hire up to five students. Reimbursement will be provided at the end of the employment period, upon proof of payment of student wages.

Employers must place students in jobs that can be accommodated under current public health orders and be able to adapt to recommendations provided by public health officials over the summer.

For the first two weeks of the program, priority will be given to employers who do not qualify for the various federal government assistance programs.

“While we work toward carefully re-opening our economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, more opportunities will be available for students as the summer progresses,” says Pallister. “Our students need the support and experience, and the Summer Student Recovery Plan will help stimulate our economy and move Manitoba forward.”

For more info on the programs, including how employers can apply for the wage subsidy, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

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