COVID-19 Resources for Businesses
The health and well-being of our businesses and residents is our biggest priority during the current COVID-19 situation. Our focus is on connecting people from any industry or sector to the supports and resources they need to succeed.
The resources on this page are meant to support you in making informed decisions for your business and will be updated as information becomes available.
We our offering our services to all businesses in the region to help you navigate the current situation.
East Hants Response to COVID-19
How has COVID-19 impacted East Hants Economy?
Economic and Business Development have developed the COVID-19 Recovery Tracker to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on key economic indicators, including, employment, industry, and debt for the East Hants Economic Region and Nova Scotia.
View the COVID-19 Recovery Tracker.
Call to Action
Canadian Survey on Business Conditions
The resources in this quick guide are meant to support you in making informed decisions for your business and will be updated as information becomes available.
The Government of Canada has passed legislation to increase the number of weeks available under EI and the Canada Recovery Benefits (CRB). EI regular benefits can now be accessed for up to a maximum of 50 weeks. The maximum duration of benefits for the Canada Recovery Benefit and Canada Recovery Benefit has also been increased to 38 weeks
Due to the increased cases in New Brunswick and the presence of variants in the Saint John area, the Government of Nova Scotia has decided to reinstate border restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The restrictions on the border will be reinstated Thursday, April 15th at 8:00 am. People coming from New Brunswick will have to self-isolate upon arrival in Nova Scotia and complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form.
Get the most current updates for your business
Continuing Your Business Operations
On March 22, the Province of Nova Scotia declared a provincial state of emergency to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Some businesses were subjected to closures or limitations under the Public Health Order.
Most businesses that were forced to close under the Public Health Order were permitted to reopen on June 5. The Government of Nova Scotia has created a Reopening Webpage with further information. We have also pulled together tips and resources to assist you with reopening your business or ramping up your operations.
Support for your Business
The Federal Government has created Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, to help businesses and aid in stabilizing the economy. There are new programs and supports to help businesses and employees facing challenges as a result of the current situation.
Financial Support for Your Business
Contact your financial institution
Canada’s biggest banks have made a commitment to work closely with small business on a case-by-case basis. They will help you assess your financial situation and assist you in finding solutions.
Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
If appropriate your financial institution may refer you to additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). The BDC and EDC are working with private sector lenders to coordinate credit solutions for individual businesses including those in the oil and gas, air transportation, export and tourism sectors under the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP).
Small Business Impact Grant
Through this new $20-million program, eligible small businesses, non-profits, charities and social enterprises who had to close or reduce operations because of the public health order may have been eligible for a flexible grant. This one-time grant was equal to 15 per cent of revenue from sales, either from April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000. Applications opened on April 10, and closed on April 25.
Update: The province has launched the Small Business Impact Grant Part 2 – Restaurant, Bar, and Fitness Facility & Leisure Establishment Stream – to support certain small businesses in parts of Halifax and Hants County that were ordered to close or reduce operations under public health directives in effect from 26 November 2020. The program provides a grant of up to $5,000 to help cover operating expenses. The deadline for applications is 31 January 2021.
Small Business Reopening and Support Grant
Businesses that were required to close or greatly reduce operations, or were greatly impacted by social distancing and orders to stay home, may qualify for a reopening grant of up to $5,000 to help them safely reopen through this $25 million program. The funding also include a business continuity voucher of up to $1,500 for advice and services to help businesses adapt to and become more resilient to COVID-19 challenges. Applications closed on July 17.
Support for Your Employees
The wage subsidy program has been expanded to include all Canadian companies and charities that have experienced a 30% drop in revenue as a result of COVID-19. Eligible companies can receive up to a 75% wage subsidy, for up to three months, and the program will be backdated to March 15.
The one week waiting period for EI has been waived. A medical certificate for EI sickness is also no longer required.
A taxable benefit of $2,000/month for up to 4 months for workers facing unemployment. This program has been expanded to enable people to earn up to $1,000/month while collecting the CERB; it has been extend to seasonal workers who have exhausted EI regular benefits and no longer have a seasonal job waiting for them; and, to other people who recently exhausted their EI regular benefits but are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.
A $20 million Worker Emergency Bridge Fund to help the self-employed and those laid-off workers who do not qualify for Employment Insurance. Government will provide a one-time, $1,000 payment, to bridge the gap between layoffs and closures and the federal government’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit
Many companies and organizations are offering support and information to help businesses adapt and address the current challenges.
- Government of Nova Scotia has created an online tool to help businesses and non-profits determine whether they may remain open, and how they can comply with public health orders and workplace safety requirements.
- East Hants Chamber of Commerce is offering business support updates and information around COVID-19.
- Nova Scotia Works – FutureWorx is offering Employer Human Resource Support.
- BDC is offering information and access to their financial programs and supports.
- Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) is offering business support updates and can be contacted to answer export-related questions.
- Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is offering deferral of scheduled payments and support to businesses.
We Want to Hear from You
Our East Hants team is here to support your business during these challenges. We are reaching out and contacting East Hants businesses directly to hear how the situation is affecting your business and how we can help you. We are working collaboratively with local and regional organizations and agencies to support our East Hants business community as we go forward together.