Manitoba businesses are being encouraged to go to the "next level," and are getting help doing it.

The Province of Manitoba is picking up the digital cheque for a new Digital Manitoba Initiative, worth up to a total of $15 million. Two programs, a $5,000 TechUP initiative and a $25,000 PowerUP initiative are up for grabs for both non-profits and businesses. 

"I encourage you to reflect on how you can take your operations to that next level through the digital Manitoba initiative," Manitoba Chamber of Commerce President Chuck Davidson says in a Thursday press conference.

He is encouraging businesses to look at what they need, and use the new program to help them get to the "next level." The program is set to be broad, allowing businesses to identify their needs. 

"Maybe you need a new website, an e-commerce capability, or a social media strategy to connect with new customers online, or maybe you are considering accounting software, or manufacturing tools, a powerful point of sale system, a telephone system, upgrades to help you connect better to the physical office or through remote teams or workers, Digital Manitoba Initiative will be there to help,"  Davidson says.

Up to $5,000 will be given for fundamental digital tools such as website development for smaller needs. The larger PowerUp fund gives up to $25,000 for things like evolving business models. 

reyesMinister Jon Reyes says "like true Manitobans" local businesses are adapting and supporting one another. (Screenshot: Government of Manitoba/YouTube)

"We have seen a giant shift to a digital world. This was made even more evident over the past year," Economic Development and Jobs Minister Jon Reyes says. "Many businesses and non-profit organizations are facing challenges integrating digital technology into their operations as they do their part to keep Manitobans safe."

A panel of new media and technical experts will evaluate the fund applications. This includes investments already made by businesses since April 1 and will last until March 31 of next year. Priority will be given to small and medium Manitoba-based businesses. 

The Province says this is part of the $50 million Long-Term Recovery Fund.