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Downtown Winnipeg BIZ asks for support of local businesses amid coronavirus outbreak

The Downtown Winnipeg Business Improvement Zone is asking for city parking rates to be lowered amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Shane Gibson/Global News

The Downtown Winnipeg Business Improvement Zone (BIZ) is calling on Winnipeggers to continue shopping downtown amid coronavirus concerns.

The organization is encouraging Winnipeggers to support local businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and is continuing to call on the city to make it easier for local residents to do so.

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That includes their ongoing push to see parking rates lowered in the downtown.

“Downtown businesses are already facing the prospect of a major drop in income as office workers are encouraged to work from home,” Kate Fenske, CEO of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, said in a statement.

“It’s time city council show support for downtown businesses by reducing the hourly parking rate and committing to a city parking strategy before the end of the year.”

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The BIZ is requesting city council reduce the current hourly parking rate by at least 50 cents. It says the reduction would ensure downtown retailers aren’t further penalized at a time when local businesses are already threatened.

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Currently, street parking on city streets ranges from $2.50 to $3.50 per hour between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.

The BIZ says many downtown stores are independent or family-owned businesses and are facing a major drop in income due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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