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COVID-19 Provincial and Federal Assistance for Nova Scotia Businesses

Nova Scotia Business Inc. is working to keep businesses across the province informed of the latest government program and service announcements during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Province of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada are putting policies, programs and initiatives in place to assist small businesses immediately and through the next several months.

The Province of Nova Scotia has made the following announcements to help businesses:

Small Business Reopening and Support Grant
Provides grants to small businesses, non-profits, charities, and social enterprises that were ordered to close or greatly reduce operations due to COVID-19. Eligible organizations will receive a one-time grant of up to $5,000 to help with re-opening costs as well as a business continuity voucher of up to $1,500 to hire a consultant to advise on how to adapt operations. Apply online starting June 1, 2020.
More information

COVID-19 Small Business Credit & Support Program — Applications now closed
A new program for businesses affected by COVID-19 consisting of three parts: a loan, a one-time grant, and a voucher to hire a consultant for business advice. All businesses approved for a loan through this program can receive a $1,500 voucher to hire a Nova Scotia consultant for advice on adapting or recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.
More information

Worker Emergency Bridge Fund 
A $20-million program to help self-employed and laid-off workers who do not qualify for Employment Insurance. A one-time, $1,000 payment, to bridge the gap between layoffs and closures and CERB (see list of federal programs for details).

Government loan payments deferral — until June 30, 2020
Includes loans under the Farm Loan Board, Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, Jobs Fund, Nova Scotia Business Fund, Municipal Finance Corp. and Housing Nova Scotia.

Small business fees deferral — until June 30, 2020
Includes business renewal fees and workers compensation premiums (a complete list of fees will be posted in the coming days).

Small Business Loan Guarantee Program payments deferral — until June 30, 2020
Deferring principal and interest payments and enhancing the program to make it easier for businesses to access credit up to $500,000. For those who might not qualify for a loan, government will guarantee the first $100,000.

Small Business Rental Deferral Guarantee Program — until June 30, 2020
To support small and medium-sized businesses, landlords are encouraged to defer rent payments from their commercial tenants for 3 months, spreading the deferred rent amount over the rest of the lease term.

Faster payments to small business
Small businesses which do business with the Province of Nova Scotia to be paid within five days of invoicing.

Internet access
Additional $15 million as an incentive to providers to speed up projects under the “Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative” to projects as soon as possible.

All information sourced from the Province of Nova Scotia website.


Ulnooweg is offering the following support programs to help Aboriginal businesses in Atlantic Canada:

Payment deferral
Loan deferral with interest relief for all clients for the period of April 1 – June 30, 2020. This is done automatically for current clients.

Consulting support services
Non-repayable funds for consulting services to help entrepreneurs access and apply for the Federal and Provincial business-related COVID-19 programs. Grants will be up to a maximum of $5000.

All information sourced from Ulnooweg.


The Government of Canada has made the following announcements to help businesses:

Regional Relief Recovery Fund (RRRF)
Provides $110 million in funding to support Atlantic Canadian businesses affected by COVID-19. The fund is intended to support business owners and organizations that have not been able to access other federal emergency support efforts. To be eligible, businesses and organizations must not have accessed funds or COVID-19 relief measures and continue to experience hardship. The RRRF is targeted to businesses in sectors that are critical to the resilience and survival of Atlantic Canada’s economy, such as advanced manufacturing, ocean industries, clean growth technology and tourism.
Apply here
Source

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) - until August 29, 2020
Provides a 75% wage subsidy (on the first $58,700 – up to $847 a week) for qualifying businesses. Available to all non-publicly funded companies (including not-for-profits, bars and restaurants) that have seen a 15% drop in revenue due to COVID-19.
Source

NRC IRAP Innovation Assistance Program (IAP)
$250 million in funding for the Innovation Assistance Program (IAP) to assist Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) pursuing technology-driven innovation who have been unable to secure funding under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
Source

Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy for employers
Organizations that do not qualify for the CEWS may qualify for the 10% wage subsidy. The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration from March 18, 2020, to June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee and to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer.
Source

Women Entrepreneurship Strategy
Provides $15 million in new funding through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). Available to existing WES Ecosystem Fund recipient organizations, enabling them to provide timely support to women entrepreneurs facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $65 billion of additional support.
Source

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
The Canada Emergency Business Account provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small and medium-sized businesses and not-for-profits, with payrolls up to $1.5 million, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.
Source

Deferral of payments to federal partners — for 3 months
All Regional Development Agencies, including ACOA, will apply a deferral of three months on all payments due to the government, as of April 1, 2020.
Source

Deferral of sales tax remittance and customs duty payments — until June 30, 2020
Defer payments of the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST), as well as customs duties owing on imports.

Tax flexibility
The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020.

Cutting the interest rate
Interest rate cut to 0.25%.

Access to the Canada Account
Providing support to Canadian companies through loans, guarantees or insurance policies.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
A taxable benefit providing $2,000 a month for up to 4 months for eligible workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applies to wage earners, part-time, contract and seasonal workers, and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).
Source

Work-Sharing (WS) Program
For employers affected by the downturn in business due to COVID-19, extending the duration of Work-Sharing agreements by an additional 38 weeks, for a total of 76 weeks.
Source

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
Expected to be operational by mid-May, CECRA lowers rent by 75% for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Provides forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of 3 monthly rent payments payable by eligible small business tenants experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.
Source

Canada Summer Jobs Program - Temporary Changes 
Private and public sector employers can receive up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for student employees; end date for student employment extended to February 28, 2021; can adapt projects and job descriptions to support essential services, and can hire staff on a part-time basis.
Source

Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Program
Employers can increase their employees’ weekly earnings when they are unemployed due to a temporary stoppage of work, training, illness, injury or quarantine.
Source

All information sourced from the Government of Canada COVID-19 Economic Response Plan website unless otherwise noted.

COVID-19 Business Support Updates and Information

As the COVID-19 situation evolves and affects global business activities, the safety of our colleagues, clients and partners remains our top priority. The latest information is available on our COVID-19 Business Support page.

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