‘We are proud to join forces with our trusted partners in the business and technology community to launch B2B Manitoba, a tool that will connect businesses with suppliers’
Manitoba has partnered with several organizations to develop and launch an online marketplace that will connect businesses in the province with non-medical grade personal protective equipment (PPE) and other materials needed for businesses to operate.
“Our government has heard from the business community that they need help to access supplies needed to enable them to open and operate safely during the pandemic,” said Premier Brian Pallister. “We are proud to join forces with our trusted partners in the business and technology community to launch B2B Manitoba, a tool that will connect businesses with suppliers.”
The province has provided a grant of $422,000 to the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME), which have commissioned North Forge Technology Exchange to develop and launch the online marketplace www.B2BManitoba.ca. The tool addresses a need identified by Manitoba businesses as they transition to the economic recovery phases of COVID-19.
“The manufacturing sector, key to Manitoba’s economy, has stepped up in a significant way to make needed protective supplies,” said Ron Koslowsky, divisional vice-president of CME. “As the association representing manufacturers, CME is pleased to support this valuable initiative which will help businesses, their staff and customers operate safely as we help get Manitobans back to work.”
The online marketplace will also support those critical businesses that never closed with restocking needed supplies and help manufacturers who have retooled their current operations to produce PPE and are looking for ways to access a new customer base.
The online marketplace will be monitored by the Manitoba and Winnipeg Chambers of Commerce and the CME to protect against spam and abuse, and ensure that any listings for medical grade PPE are redirected to the provincial government’s PPE portal.
The marketplace will be secured with the same level of encryption used by leading financial institutions and government agencies so businesses and suppliers can be assured their data is fully protected when using the site, said the government.
Manitoba has also established the new Premier’s Economic Opportunities Advisory Board to chart the province’s course for reopening its economy and renewing its growth in order to move the province forward from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this month, British trade union Prospect released a study showing that many female workers continue to struggle with ill-fitting PPE.
In April, Canadian simulation technologies manufacturer CAE said it will deliver 100,000 N-95 masks to the Quebec government to support front-line healthcare workers, and manufacture and supply 10,000 ventilators for the use of COVID-19 patients.