Review the Business Climate

How it's done

The business climate is the general economic environment that local businesses operate in. Reviewing and understanding the local business climate provides valuable insights about the economy, costs, risks, and incentives that may impact the success of your business. This activity will guide you to better understand the business climate in Winnipeg and help you answer the following fundamental questions.

What is the business climate in Winnipeg?

We have compiled the most important aspects of Winnipeg’s business climate as an interactive dashboard below. This dashboard provides valuable economic, resident, household, dwelling and development indicators that may influence the success of your business.

What costs and assistance should I know about?

Whether you have a new or existing business it is critical to be aware of costs, incentives and grants that impact your business. This dashboard provides you with a snapshot of the major costs of conducting business in Winnipeg and assistance available to Winnipeg businesses.

Affordable and Competitive Taxes

Individuals, businesses and other entities pay the five per cent federal Goods and Services Tax (5%) on most goods and services. Most businesses, including manufacturers and processors, qualify for full input tax credits on the amount of 5% paid on purchases made for business purposes where the firm is not the final consumer.

Manitoba Retail Sales Tax

The Retail Sales Tax is an eight per cent tax applied to the retail sale or rental of most goods and certain services in Manitoba. The tax is calculated on the selling price, before the federal GST is applied.

Manitoba Health and Post-Secondary Education Tax Levy (payroll tax)

The Health and Post-Secondary Education Tax Levy (HE Levy) is a tax imposed on remuneration paid to employees. Employers, and all their associated corporations and certain partnerships, who are permanently established in Manitoba pay the HE Levy, but are exempted if their total annual remuneration is $1.25 million or less. For further details, please see PWC, Tax Facts and Figures, Canada 2018.

Corporate Tax Rates

Manitoba ranks competitively with the rest of Canada when it comes to corporate income and investment income taxation.

Summary table for selected taxes on Corporations in Manitoba:


Income Tax Rate: Canadian Controlled Private Corporations

  Income Tax Rate: General and Manufacturing and Processing (per cent) Active Business Income earned in Canada to $500,000 1 Investment Income Tax (per cent)
Federal Rate 15% 10% 38.67%
Manitoba 12% 0% or 12% 12%
Combined Rate 27% 10% or 22% 50.67%


Other taxes

  Capital-Tax Rates Financial Institutions [except insurance] (per cent)2 Payroll Tax (per cent) Provincial Sales Tax (per cent)
Federal Rate 1.25% - -
Manitoba 0% to 6% 0% to 4.3% 7%
Combined Rate 1.25% to 7.25% 0% to 4.3% 7%


Source: Price Waterhouse Coopers, Tax Facts and Figures, Canada 2018.


1 The lower rate applies to active business income up to $450,000 in Manitoba, and the higher rate to active business income from this threshold to $500,000.

2 Manitoba capital tax rate is 0 per cent until taxable paid-up capital is >= $4 Billion, after which it is 6 per cent.

Business Tax Rates

The business tax rate in Winnipeg in 2018 is 5.14% of the annual rental value (ARV). This rate is set annually by City Council. For more information about the business tax, please see (How Business Taxes are Calculated).

In 2018, a Small Business Tax Credit (SBTC) sees businesses with an ARV of $33,300 or less receiving an offsetting credit equal to their full business tax. This credit does not include BIZ Zone levies.

Property Taxes

Property taxes are calculated in the City of Winnipeg by applying municipal and school division mill rates against the portioned assessment against individual and business properties. Additionally, Provincial Education Support mill rates are applied against non-residential and non-farm properties.

Municipal mill rates are set by City Council, the provincial government sets the Provincial Education Support mill rate, and the school divisions in the City of Winnipeg set their own mill rates. For more information on mill rates, please see (Statistics).

Business Improvement Zone Levies

Sixteen Winnipeg neighbourhoods have chosen to form Business Improvement Zones (BIZ), as permitted by the City of Winnipeg charter. The BIZ Zones' mandates are to attract new business and economic development to the area, and to lobby on behalf of their member organizations. If applicable, a BIZ levy is applied against the annual rental value. Each BIZ sets its own levy rate and is collected on their behalf by the City of Winnipeg. To see the latest rates, please see (Statistics).

Tax Incremental Financing

Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) is a tool that governments use as a financial incentive to spur economic growth, while minimizing the financial risk for the public sector. The incremental taxes (or increase in taxes) created by significant new development are used to help fund the development. TIF projects must create substantial property value improvements in order to receive funding, with a clear return on investment for the public.

How do I use this information?

Having access to business climate statistics and information is one thing, but it's quite another to use data effectively and in a way that will benefit your business. This next section will help you do just that. Learn how to use this information to make better business decisions.

Monitor the local business climate

On-going assessment of the business climate is an essential part of operating a competitive business. In any business climate, there are numerous factors outside your control that will impact your business, both positively and negatively. The health of the economy impacts all businesses, but small businesses usually feel the effect of economic changes faster than big businesses. Improvements in the economy typically provide a rapid increase in new opportunities for small businesses, while an economic downturn can have a significant and prolonged negative impact.

Unfortunately, you can’t influence the economy, but you can monitor the business climate indicators provided above and then take the necessary actions to minimize risks to your business. Staying up to date with the business climate can also help you identify new opportunities that your business can take advantage of.

Know your costs

All industries are unique and incur different types of costs when starting or operating. Understanding these costs is essential when it comes to setting prices, budgeting and planning for growth or downturns. We’ve provided some of the local costs associated with taxes, development and labour that often get overlooked by businesses. There may be other municipal and provincial costs that apply to your business so we encourage you to contact us to find out more.

Where can I learn more about the business climate?

While we are providing you with a range of valuable information about the business climate, the fact is that there's much more available. In this section we provide you with links to other websites that will supplement our information and help to keep your finger on the pulse.

If you have any questions about the above information please contact our YES! Winnipeg team . There may also be other municipal and provincial costs that apply to your business so we encourage you to contact us to find out more.

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