Some are calling for flexibility from parking authorities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
While many are working from home or have been temporarily laid off, Impark is still charging monthly parking rates for parking stalls that are sitting empty and unused.
The company requires 30 days notice for cancellations, and that policy isn’t changing despite COVID-19.
In an emailed statement to Global News, the company spokesperson says they can’t change their policy because they manage and operate parking on behalf of the property owners.
“Because we do not own the properties, are unable to unilaterally change longstanding policies and contracts, such as the cancellation term notice required for monthly parking,” the statement said.
“We are deeply sympathetic to our many customers who have been impacted by COVID-19, and we are working closely with each of our clients to find ways to reduce the financial burden on our customers during this public health crisis.”
Other companies, like gyms and fitness centres, have adjusted their policies and stopped charging for services that can be utilized.
“We decided to freeze gym memberships because honestly, it didn’t feel right ethically to keep people paying even though they weren’t coming in,” said Amie Seier, who owns The Community Gym in the Exchange District.”
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“I’m not charging my customers to come into a physical space, so why should Impark?”
The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce says parking costs are one of many concerns for businesses and workers in the city.
“Potentially secondary costs like parking, that maybe aren’t as significant as rent, those ones are starting to come to fore as companies work through all the various costs that they face,” Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Loren Remillard said.
“The Impark situation is just one of many considerations and discussions that need to be had. So we continue to work with members on both sides of the equation to say, please be as flexible as possible.”
A statement echo’d by Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman, who said in an emailed statement to Global News that he’s appealing “to all businesses to do their best to be as accommodating as possible for residents who need it during this unprecedented time.”
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