COVID-19 Response Update 14

Good Morning,

Another "work-week" down not that any of us are working a typical week or will for quite some time. We know that the uncertainty of this entire situation and how long it may last is not making anything easier but you need to know; that you are not alone, many of us are in similar situations, and we are are having the same thoughts and worries. Your Chamber of Commerce remains here to help you through this, don't give up as our community will be here for you.

We are happy to see the supports that the Province of NS announced yesterday and are eagerly awaiting further information and applications to open up. We believe that the Wage Subsidy will be beneficial to many, but we need to see the remaining details and how this will work.

We also feel it's important to express how important it is to continue physical distancing and proper sanitation procedures in place in an effort to limit community spread. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says that for each month of containment efforts, there will be a loss of 2 percentage points in annual GDP growth for the average economy. We therefore feel as though its imperative that we ensure the public health measures are effective and they be followed so that the virus can be contained quickly and the economy open back up. We want to encourage you to communicate to your staff, families, customers and the community at large the importance of following the public health directives so that we can get onto the work of kick-starting the economy.

We are here to help you navigate all of the supports available and advocate on behalf of the local business community.

Please reach out should you need any assistance or someone to talk through your business challenges with.

Thank you,
Rick Allwright
cell: 902-740-5251


Province of Nova Scotia - Department of Business

Government has extended the State of Emergency for another two weeks. The new order will take effect at noon, Sunday, April 5, when the current one was set to expire, and will extend to noon, April 19.
April 2, 2020, government announced two new programs valued at an estimated $40 million to further support small businesses and workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID 19 Worker Emergency Bridge  - for workers ($20 million)
Nova Scotians have a long and proud history of helping each other in tough times. For some workers, Covid-19 has meant job losses and lay-offs and trouble paying bills and meeting basic needs like food and shelter. While we already have programs in place to help many people in need, we want to prevent others from falling through the cracks. 
The Worker Emergency Bridge will help people who are no longer working and need help as soon as possible. Nova Scotians laid off or out of work on or after March 16, 2020 due to Covid-19, and ineligible for Employment Insurance, are eligible for a one-time, $1,000 payment to help them meet their basic needs.

Eligibility for the program is not affected by a person or business being enrolled in another provincial program or the federal initiatives. For example, this can be combined with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit(CERB).  .

Application portal will be available later next week.

Those eligible for Employment Insurance are not eligible for this program.

Small Business COVID 19 Impact Grant - for employers ($20 million)
Small businesses are highly valued in Nova Scotia. Their recovery from interruptions caused by Covid-19 is important for our economy and our communities.  Small businesses ordered to close or with operations substantially curtailed by the Public Health orders can access support through the new Small Business Sustainability Grant.

This flexible, onetime, upfront grant can be used by the business owner as they determine, for their business to weather this unprecedented period. 

The Covid 19 Small Business Impact Grant can be combined with all other federal and provincial support for small business.

Application portal will be available later next week.

Role of Dalhousie University
The province has partnered with Dalhousie University’s and its Faculty of Management so the university can implement the two programs announced today - the Small Business COVID 19 Impact Grant program and the COVID-19 Worker Emergency Bridge.

Dalhousie and its partners in post secondary education throughout NS are well positioned to provide expertise and extra capacity during these unprecedented times.

There will be accountability and government oversight through a Contribution Agreement.
A number of graphs and a map to show the number of positive tests for COVID-19 in the province are now online at  . The graphs provide information on the number of cases in the province by day, the current COVID-19 situation (number of positive tests, number of negative, hospitalized, recovered), percentage of cases by age, and percentage of cases by gender. The map provides a break down of the number of positive tests by each Nova Scotia Health Authority zone.
We continue to see participation in the rent deferral program and are pleased to see landlords and tenants working together during this difficult time. As of today, April 2, 180 landlords from across the province representing 505 tenants have entered into agreements that will see $4 million in rent deferred.  

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:
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

Our Business Navigators are available to help you with any questions you may have. Find out more about the service at
They can be reached Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm at  1-844-628-7347  ,  902-424-4475

Provincial website:
Government of Canada:
Government of Canada toll-free information line 1-833-784-4397


Federal Programs 

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Mary Ng, and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Navdeep Bains, announced the details of the proposed  Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy .

Here are the quick facts:
  • Qualifying businesses receive a 75% wage subsidy for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020
  • Applies to the first $58,700 normally earned by employees, representing a benefit of up to $847 per week. Please note if you and your staff earn more than $58,700 per year, you will receive less than 75% in wage subsidy. 
  • Program would be in place for a 12-week period from March 15 to June 6, 2020
  • Eligible employers:
  • Employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30 per cent in March, April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019, although Minister Morneau acknowledged in interviews that if there were no revenues last year that revenues from January and February 2020 would be considered. 
  • Employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities
  • The 10% wage subsidy is still available if you have not lost 30% in revenue
  • Not-for-profits: government will continue to work with the sector to ensure the definition of revenue is appropriate to their circumstances. Further details will be announced soon.
  • Eligible employers would be able to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy by applying through a Canada Revenue Agency online portal. More details regarding how to apply for the program will follow, but we would suggest you sign up immediately for direct deposit with CRA.

Here is a link to the  backgrounder  with more details.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
  • If you have lost income because of COVID-19, the CERB will provide you with temporary income support. The CERB will provide you with $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. They will start accepting applications on April 6. Prior to April 6, individuals who are without work and are eligible for EI can continue to apply for Employment Insurance. Eligibility includes those:Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits;
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their applications
  • Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income.
Canada Emergency Business Account
The Federal Government has also announced a number of programs, including an interest free loan of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits to help cover operating costs during this period of unrest, where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. This loan will be forgivable up to $10,000.  Find more details here.  


Funding Search Tool updated for COVID-19
Through NSBI’s website, the  Funding Search Tool  now enables businesses to keyword search any funding tools locally and across the country specific to the current COVID challenges to business – just use the keyword COVID-19 

Business Support from Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre
In response to COVID-19, Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre is offering  free virtual one-on-one strategy sessions to Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs . The sessions aim to provide support, insight, and additional resources to help entrepreneurs overcome current challenges.
More information can be found at


Chamber Plan Business Resources Page

Chambers and their members are faced with unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. That's why Chambers Plan has created a COVID-19 Business Resource Centre, with the advice, tools, and latest updates to support Canadian businesses in this difficult time.

Resources included 
 > Responding to COVID-19 
 > Financial Resources 
 > HR & Legal Issues 
 > Supporting Your People 


Canada Business App
Download the  Canada Business App , from the Government of Canada, to see how easy it is to navigate government services, get recommendations tailored to your business, set up personalized notifications and find the answers you need to start up, scale up and access new markets.


Canadian Chamber Summarizes Business Advocacy Activity

In the  attached document , the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has summarized the completed and on-going advocacy being undertaken on behalf of the national chamber network. You will note many of the concerns highlighted in the recent  ACC Survey of Atlantic businesses  and advocated on their behalf to elected officials as well. It also references responses by the government to concerns expressed by the business community.


Free Webcast Series
The Institute on Governance is offering a free  Leading Through COVID-19 Webcast Series. 
Would you attend a weekly online (video conference) networking/support meeting?
Yes - Regularly
Yes - Once and a While
Be sure to follow us on Facebook to see what we are doing to support our Doctors and Health Care Professionals with our H is for Hero campaign. Be sure to add the frame to your profile picture to show your support.

We have posters that you can hang up in your business, email Rebecca to get yours at

This week we sent 19 of these arrangements to the Yarmouth Hospital as a thank you to the various departments.

Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at  .

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:

Government of Canada:
Government of Canada toll-free information line 1-833-784-4397 Nova Scotia Public Health offices:

Department of Finance: Details on Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy/Ministère des Finances : Détails sur la subvention salariale d’urgence
Canada Emergency Response Benefit / Prestation canadienne d’urgence

Canada Revenue Agency – Income tax filing and payment dates: CRA and COVID-19 / Agence du revenu du Canada – Dates de production et de paiement : l'Agence et la COVID-19:
Canada Self-Assessment Tool and App / Outil et application d'autoévaluation du Canada

Health Canada—COVID-19 / Santé Canada—COVID-19
CBSA information line/Service téléphonique de l’ASFC
The Border Information Service (BIS) is an automated telephone service that provides general information in English or French on CBSA programs, services and initiatives. Officers are available 24 hours per day 7 days per week.  Toll-free: 1-800-461-9999  
Le Service d'information sur la frontière (SIF) est un service téléphonique automatisé qui offre des renseignements généraux sur les programmes, les services et les initiatives de l'ASFC. Les agents sont disponibles 7 jours sur 7, 24 heures par jour.  Sans frais : 1-800-461-9999
COVID-19: Statement from the FCAC Commissioner / COVID-19 : déclaration de la commissaire de l'ACFC

External Links:
Food & Consumer Products of Canada – COVID-19 Operations Best Practices for Industry:
Canada’s Premiers—Provinces and territories: Taking action on COVID-19

Key Information Tools / Outils: 
Small Business BC
BC Economic Development Association: #COVID19 Resources for BC Businesses
City of Mississauga’s Economic Development Office (EDO): COVID-19 Response
Canadian Chamber of Commerce: Pandemic Preparedness
Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses: Small Business Resources for Dealing with COVID-19
Business Credit Availability Program/ Programme de credit pour les entreprises
Resources for Canadian businesses: COVID-19 / Ressources pour les enterprises Canadiennes: COVID-19

Call to Action: Canadian manufacturers needed to help combat COVID-19 / Appel fournisseurs canadiens: Aidez a combattre la COVID-19
Prime Minister announces more support for workers and businesses through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan / Le premier ministre annonce un soutien supplémentaire aux travailleurs et aux entreprises grâce au Plan d'intervention économique du Canada pour répondre à la COVID-19
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan / Plan d'intervention économique du Canada pour répondre à la COVID-19
Stay Connected
A dedicated COVID-19 tile has been added to the Canada Business App, providing links to government announcements and information for businesses. More information about the App can be found at  .
ISED’s social media team remains available to support and to amplify regional content as appropriate. They can be contacted at
COVID-19 subscription for Public Health Updates:
Business Supports
Department of Finance - Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses / 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

Export Development Canada COVID-19:
Business Development Bank of Canada – Support for Entrepreneurs impacted by coronavirus  :

Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Pandemic Preparedness for Business
World Health Organization COVID-19 - Business and Employees
Council of Canadian Innovators – COVID-19 Slack Channel (you must create an account)
English: Business Resource Hub:
Canadian Federation of Independent Business - keeping you and your employees safe
Uber Eats

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

Mastercard Canada—Understanding Intercharge / Comprendre l’interchange
EN :