COVID-19 Response Update 12

Stay tuned this week for more information today from the Federal Government and further announcements from the Provincial Government regarding financial supports later in the week.

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Today, Monday, March 30, the federal government  announced further details  on its 75 per cent wage subsidy program: 
  • Businesses and non-profit organizations seeing a drop of at least 30 per cent in revenue due to COVID-19 will qualify.
  • The government will cover up to 75 per cent of a salary on the first $58,700, or payments up to $847/week.
  • Wage subsidies will be retroactive to March 15, 2020.
  • More details are expected tomorrow, Tuesday, March 31.

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BDC Loan & Guarantee Program Update

BDC announced the details of its new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in additional lending. The program will operate as follows:
 
  • Small and medium-sized businesses can get support through a new Co-Lending Program that will bring the BDC together with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to these businesses for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts up to $6.25 million, 80 per cent of which would be provided by BDC, with the remaining 20 per cent by a financial institution.

  • EDC will also provide funding to financial institutions so they can issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized businesses, as a result of a new domestic mandate enhancing EDC’s role in supporting Canadian businesses through COVID-19 crisis. These loans will be 80 per cent guaranteed by EDC, to be repaid within one year.

  • Eligible companies could obtain up to $12.5 million through these two lending streams.
 
To read the full press release, click  here You can also click  here   in case you missed the previous press release presenting BDC’s additional relief measures.

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Province of Nova Scotia - Department of Business

EMPLOYER ASSESSMENT TOOL
We have heard businesses and non-profits need clarity on how they can comply with the Public Health Order. An on-line tool to quickly help employers determine if they may remain open, in compliance with current workplace safety requirements, has been posted to the provincial coronavirus website.
You can find the assessment tool here:  https://covid19-employer-assessment.novascotia.ca/en
 
COVID-19 SMALL BUSINESS RENTAL DEFERRAL GUARANTEE PROGRAM
We’ve listened to businesses and have removed the requirement of tenant businesses to have 5 or more employees to be eligible for the program. The revised guidelines are online and there is no employee minimum to be eligible  https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/#support

Rental deferral agreements must be in place by April 1 and you must register your intent with the Department of Business by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 3, by emailing  NSRentDeferral@novascotia.ca  .

By April 30, 2020, the landlord must submit an application to the Department of Business which will include an application form and a copy of the deferral agreement. Each landlord will be contacted directly by the Department.

We continue to ask landlords and retail and commercial tenants to work together to find a solution that works for both sides. 

This is not a stand alone program; the provincial government will be announcing more supports for businesses in the coming days that complement federal programming.  
 
CHANGES TO REGISTRY OF JOINT STOCK 

Counter service is not available at this time. The Business Registration Unit, located on 6 North in the Maritime Centre, 1505 Barrington Street, Halifax, will have a drop box in the building lobby for deliveries of documents for processing. Drop boxes are in place at Access Nova Scotia Centre locations in Yarmouth, Kentville, Bridgewater, Dartmouth, Amherst, Stellarton and Sydney to receive RJSC deliveries and will be delivered to the Maritime Centre for processing

During this period, scanned copies of originally signed documents or digitally signed documents where the digital signature information is clearly readable when the document is printed, will be accepted. These scanned or digitally signed documents may be submitted via email to  RJSC@novascotia.ca

The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society has issued updated information concerning the client identification rules, as well as taking affidavits and oaths with non-face-to-face means that you will have to consider. That information can be found at  https://nsbs.org/covid-19-questions .

Emails containing a credit card number is automatically blocked for security reasons. Please provide a phone number of a contact person from whom to obtain the relevant credit card information to complete payment. Contact the RJSC directly at 902-424-7770 or 1-800-225-8227 with any questions.
 
NOVA SCOTIA TENDER NOTICES
Are you a business that can supply products and service in support of Nova Scotia’s response to COVID-19? If so, we want to hear from you. A procurement portal has been developed and includes a list of products and services we’re looking for. For more information, visit  https://procurement.novascotia.ca/ns-tenders.aspx

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS NAVIGATORS
Our Business Navigators are available to help you with any questions you may have. Find out more about the service at  https://novascotia.ca/regulatoryopportunity/business-navigators.asp
They can be reached Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm at  1-844-628-7347  ,  902-424-4475

USEFUL RESOURCES 
Provincial website:  https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/
Government of Canada:  https://canada.ca/coronavirus
Government of Canada toll-free information line 1-833-784-4397

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Refusing Cash: A message for Essential Service Providers
As we all do our part to try and limit the spread of COVID-19, more businesses are choosing not to accept cash to limit potential exposure.

The Bank recognizes these measures are being taken with the safety and well-being of both staff and consumers in mind. We all need to be doing what we can to reduce the risks.

You may not be aware that refusing cash purchases outright will put undue burden on the people who depend on cash and have limited payment options. In these trying times, we sincerely hope that as business leaders you will provide Canadians with the goods and services they need – now is not the time to turn them away.

It’s important to keep in mind that the risks posed from handling cash are no greater than those posed by touching other common surfaces like doorknobs, kitchen counters, handrails, etc. Front-line staff handling cash should follow the  public health guidelines on COVID-19  and wash their hands often, as they would do for other activities.

Read the  press release  issued March 18, 2020.

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Resources from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Canadian Business Resilience Network
In the coming days, you will hear more about the Canadian Business Resilience Network. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network to bring together its vast network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade and over 100 of Canada’s leading business and industry associations, including the Business Council of Canada, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, to help the business community prepare, persevere and, ultimately, prosper as we collectively face the COVID-19 pandemic.

A key element in this campaign, which will go live in the coming days, is a dedicated microsite. Our microsite will serve as a central hub for credible and authoritative information; the latest news and insights; tools and resources; and as a platform for engaging businesses. We will highlight and explain government programs and report on the progress of our advocacy efforts on measures for which we are striving to advance to support businesses and their employees.
 
In the meantime, you can find more information here:
  • You can find live updates and information about Canada’s response to COVID-19 here
  • You can find information about supports for small businesses here. 

Other Resources
Health Canada is warning Canadians about the risks of buying health products, including drugs, natural health products, homeopathic products and medical devices that make false or misleading claims to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19.  Click here  to find out more. 
 
The Canadian Psychological Association has developed a useful fact sheet for those working from home.  Click here  to read it.   

Links

Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus  .

Anyone who has travelled outside of Canada or has been in close contact with someone who has travelled and are experiencing fever (above 38 C) and/or new cough should complete the online questionnaire before calling 811. The online questionnaire can be found at:  https://811.novascotia.ca/

Government of Canada:  https://canada.ca/coronavirus
 
Government of Canada toll-free information line 1-833-784-4397 Nova Scotia Public Health offices: http://www.nshealth.ca/public-health-offices



Key Information Tools / Outils importants: 
 
Announcement by Minister of Finance, March 25 / Annonce du ministre des Finances, le 25 mars

Work-Sharing Program / Programme de travail partagé :
Service Canada a créé une unité de renseignements bilingue pour les employeurs touchés par COVID-19 qui recherchent des informations relatives au Programme de travail partagé. Les demandes de renseignements peuvent être envoyées à la boîte aux lettres ci-dessous pour obtenir des renseignements précis sur le Travail partagé ou pour demander des renseignements généraux sur le programme :  EDSC.DGOP.TP.REP-RES.WS.POB.ESDC@servicecanada.gc.ca
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Service Canada has created a bilingual enquiry unit for employers affected by COVID-19 that are seeking information related to the Work-Sharing Program. Enquiries can be sent to the mailbox below for specific Work-Sharing information or to request general information about the Program:

For help understanding the definition of essential services across borders and to understand what documentation will be required at the Canada – US border: Pour des définitions et de l’information sur des services essentiels et la documentation requise à la frontière :
·          Canada Border Services Agency has established a toll free line, staffed 24/7, to answer specific questions about Border Crossing:  1-800-461-9999  from within Canada, and 1 -204-983-3500 or 1-506-636-5064  from outside Canada. 
·         L’Agence canadienne des services frontaliers a établi une ligne sans frais, 24 heures sur 24, pour des questions sur la frontière : 1 -800-461-9999  en provenance du Canada, et 1 -204-983-3500 ou 1-506-636-5064  de l’extérieur du Canada

Canada Revenue Agency - Helping Canadians with the economic impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic / l’Agence du revenu du Canada - Aider les Canadiens avec l'impact économique de la pandémie de COVID-19
 
Exemptions to travel restrictions to protect Canadians and support the economy / Exemptions aux restrictions de voyage afin de protéger les Canadiens et d’appuyer l’économie

Expedited access to disinfectants, hand sanitizers and personal protective equipment to help limit the spread of COVID-19, as well as swabs for testing / Accès accéléré aux désinfectants, aux antiseptiques pour les mains et à l'équipement de protection individuelle pour aider à limiter la propagation de COVID-19, ainsi qu' aux écouvillons pour les tests

Business Credit Availability Program/ Programme de credit pour les entreprises
 
Resources for Canadian businesses: COVID-19 / Ressources pour les enterprises canadiennes: COVID-19
 
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan / Plan d'intervention économique du Canada pour répondre à la COVID-19
 
Stay Connected/Soyez informés
Canada Business App – Appli Affaires Canada :  www.canada.ca/business-app .
 
COVID-19 subscription for Public Health Updates/Inscription pour les mises à jour sur la santé publique:
 
Business Supports/ Appui aux entreprises :
Department of Finance - Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses / Ministère des Finances : Plan d'intervention économique du Canada pour répondre à la COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Resources for Canadian businesses / Maladie à coronavirus (COVID-19) : Ressources pour les entreprises canadiennes
 
Work-Sharing Program - Temporary special measures / Programme de travail partagé - Mesures spéciales temporaires:

Canada Revenue Agency - Helping Canadians with the economic impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic / l’Agence du revenu du Canada - Aider les Canadiens avec l'impact économique de la pandémie de COVID-19
 
What Canada’s Regional Development Agencies are doing to help business during the COVID-19 pandemic/ Ce que font les agences de développement régional (ADR) du Canada pour aider les entreprises pendant la pandémie de COVID-19 
English :  HTML  -  PDF version
French:  HTML  -  Version PDF
 
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Employment and Social Development Canada/Emploi et développement social Canada – maladie à COVID-19

Export Development Canada COVID-19/Exportation et développement Canada
 
Business Development Bank of Canada – Banque de développement du Canada

Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Chambre de commerce du Canada
 
World Health Organization COVID-19 - Business and Employees / Organisation mondiale de la santé – entreprises et employés
 
Council of Canadian Innovators – COVID-19 Slack Channel (you must create an account)
 
Facebook
English: Business Resource Hub:  https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/resource
 
Canadian Federation of Independent Business – Fédération canadienne de l’entreprise indépendante
 
Uber Eats

Innovative Medicines Canada
 
Innovative Medicines Canada: Statement on Canada’s Drug Supply / Déclaration portant sur l’approvisionnement en médicaments : IMC

Save Small  Business.ca

The Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) is providing regular Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and resources for the CFA member community to stay informed and be prepared.

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters COVID-19 Resources

Google announcement on support to small businesses / Annonce de la part de Google pour appuyer les petites entreprises