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.
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.
Government Releases More Details on the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (May 20, 2020)
The application documents and updated criteria for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program are now available. The CECRA was first announced last month, and the program will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners who provide a rent reduction of at least 75% to their small businesses tenants for the months of April, May and June. Applications will open on May 25.
Government of Nova Scotia Announces Next Steps for Reopening the Economy (May 27, 2020)
Effective June 5, most businesses required to close under the public health order can reopen. Businesses will need to follow protocols in the plans submitted for their sectors, including following public health protocols. The province continues to work with the child care sector, and the new goal date for them to reopen is June 15. The province also announced the new Small Business Reopening and Support Grant, a $25 million fund that will provide grants to help businesses open safely, and business continuity vouchers for advice and support to become more resilient in the coming months. Applications for the grant program will open June 1.
Municipality of East Hants COVID-19 Response
We are working to support our residents and businesses negatively affected financially by this global pandemic. While we encourage those who are capable of paying their water bills to do so, we have implemented measures to ease the burden with water bills. We are working with the province and the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities to explore tax relief efforts for property owners, and more information will be available soon.
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.
If your business has not been subjected to closures or limitations under the Health Protection Act, you may continue to operate but employees must practice social distancing of 2 metres (6 feet) as best as they can. You can use the COVID-19 Employer Assessment Tool to learn more about the actions your business must take.
Further information can be found here.
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 have had to close or reduce operations because of the public health order may be eligible for a flexible grant. This one-time grant is equal to 15 per cent of revenue from sales, either from April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000. Applications open 10 April. The deadline to apply is 25 April.
View the Small Business Impact Grant Application and Guidelines
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. Further details are expected soon.
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.