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Winnipeg, March 16, 2022 – The Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM) announces today the results of a $214,800 funding to support the Francophone tourism sector through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) of Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan).
This project was intended to create, maintain, and support small and medium-sized Francophone tourism businesses in Manitoba that have been affected by the pandemic, and preserve jobs for the economic recovery. The objectives included facilitating the adoption of digital technologies and in particular e-commerce, supporting tourism SMEs in their recovery and offering training and relevant resources.
For Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South: “Manitoba’s hard hit tourism industry is deeply enriched by francophone and Métis culture and heritage. CDEM’s support to businesses who develop experiences and destinations that reflect this part of Manitoba’s story has showcased some our province’s very best tourism attractions. The Government of Canada is dedicated to supporting all tourism businesses and partners as they continue the recovery process and begin welcoming visitors back to the Prairies.”
The results are very positive and exceeded the initial targets that had been set. In summary, 29 businesses were able to benefit from financial support and personalized support from CDEM advisors. For many projects, this financial contribution kickstarted major investment from the entrepreneurs. The adaptation and creation of these new products will ultimately generate an economic impact of more than $3 million. In addition, 13 training sessions on digital tools attracted 200 participants.
One of the recipients of this fund, Mitch Tétrault, Director at La Broquerie Golf, explains with gratitude what has been accomplished thanks to this funding: “This financial support allowed us to translate our website to French, making it more accessible to all. We were also able to undertake major renovations to install a new take-out window and adapt to COVID-related restrictions. The support provided by the program was crucial in order for us to continue to serve our clients during the pandemic.”
Another recipient of the fund, the owner of Voyageur Houseboats Jérémy Faure, mentions that the support provided by this program spurred the digital foundation of his business: “This funding allowed us to build a complete and user-friendly online reservation system, refine the design of our website and improve our search engine optimization. All these initiatives strengthen our online presence, which is even more important in the context of a pandemic.”
Finally, the President of CDEM’s Board of Directors, Mona Fallis, talks about the significant impact of this fund on the tourism industry and the economic development of Manitoba’s bilingual communities: “The tourism sector has been one of the most severely affected by the pandemic. A fund like this makes a tangible difference to tourism businesses and entrepreneurs, allowing them to adapt to the new realities related to COVID and contribute directly to the Municipal Economic Recovery Strategy that resulted from consultations by the AMBM Group.”
Since 1996, the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM) has been the driving force behind economic development in 15 bilingual communities of Manitoba. We work in the following sectors: tourism, business services, community economic development, employability and immigration, and youth.
Irina Ivanov Bissonnette, Director of Marketing and Communications
Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM)