COVID-19 Response Update 15

There is detailed information below regarding the Small Business Impact Grant and the Canada Emergency Business Account, plus information on what the Chamber Network is lobbying government for and more.


Province of Nova Scotia - Department of Business

Applications for the new programs from the Province of Nova Scotia are expected to be available today. We would suggest that if you need these supports you apply for them ASAP.

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. 

Eligible Small Businesses
Small businesses types ordered to cease or substantially curtail operations due to Covid 19 Order of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (issued: March 24 th , 2020) as identified below can access support through the new Small Business Covid 19 Impact Grant, including:
  • Restaurants with on site dining
  • Drinking establishments (such as bars, wineries, distillery tasting rooms and craft taprooms)
  • Personal care services (such as hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons, body art establishments)
  • Fitness establishments (such as gyms, yoga and Pilates studios, rock climbing establishments)
  • Unregulated health professionals (such as massage therapists, acupuncturists, naturopathic doctors, Chinese medicine practitioners, other complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, podiatrists) 
  • Self-regulated health professionals (such as audiologists, chiropractors) - except physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, nurses, dentists, and paramedics
  • Live, performing arts for audiences (such as live theatre, musical performances)
  • In-person trade show and exhibitions

Anticipated revenue loss for April 2020 of 30% or more per enterprise
Established before March 15, 2020 (if a new business is within 15 days of achieving first revenue from sales on this date, we may still be able to help, please apply)
Sole proprietorship, partnerships, corporations, societies, social enterprises, not for profits, charities in business, and other similar organizations
If incorporated, pays the small business corporate tax rate on income taxes (See:  Income Tax Act)
Small businesses typically have fewer than 200 employees (February 2020)

Ineligible businesses and practitioners: 
  • Licensed childcare providers
  • Physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, nurses, paramedics, dentists 
  • Golf courses 
  • Retail sales
  • Casino Nova Scotia
  • March Break Camps

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

COVID-19 and the Workplace Information
nformation for employers to help their staff and clients stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19 is now available online, including what to do if you have safety concerns, and what happens if someone at your workplace tests positive for COVID-19. You can find that information here:  and in French at:

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


Temporary Foreign Worker Programs
I am sharing the below which I received from the IRCC Minister’s office, it’s a letter signed by the federal Ministers of Health and Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion regarding emphasizing an emergency order under the Quarantine Act regarding fines for TFWs who contravene, and the associated obligations of employers.


Eligibility for BDC Loans
There have been discussions about eligibility for cannabis companies and bars and lounges for the BDC loans. The CEO stated today in the Canadian press “Any legal business is eligible to be part of the program — that was what I think some industry groups were concerned about,”

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


Canada Emergency Business Account

We received the following information from BMO, as we understand it all the Banks will be operating this program in the same way and that they will all go live at the same time. As far we know you will be expected to work with your existing bank.

Please note that we are simply providing the information given to us. we are actively lobbying for an improvement to this program to remove the required minimum annual payroll so that this is accessible to all businesses.

The Canada Emergency Business Account is a government-guaranteed loan of up to $40,000 that is interest-free until December 31, 2022. The loan is available to help businesses with operating costs during COVID-19. Twenty-five percent of the loan amount ($10,000) is eligible for forgiveness as long as the business pays back $30,000 on or before December 31, 2022. If the business cannot pay back the loan by December 31, 2022, it can be converted into a 3-year term loan at an interest rate of 5%.

What you need to know before you apply

Canada Emergency Business Account
  • This is a loan to help businesses with operating costs during COVID-19.
  • It is a government-guaranteed loan of up to $40,000 that is interest-free until December 31, 2022.
  • Twenty-five percent of the loan amount ($10,000) is eligible for forgiveness as long as the business pays back $30,000 on or before December 31, 2022.
  • If the business cannot pay back the loan by December 31, 2022, it can be converted into a term loan at an interest rate of 5%.
  • Per the requirements of the program, as set out by the Government of Canada, funds from this loan can only be used to pay for operating costs that cannot be deferred, such as payroll, rent, utilities, debt service, insurance, and  property tax.

A business or not-for-profit organization can apply if they have:
  • An operating company registered in Canada;
  • Annual payroll between $50k and $1MM. This will be based on your 2019 T4SUM;
  • and- BMO is your primary bank. This means you have a BMO business operating account that was opened on or before March 1, 2020. If BMO is not your primary bank, please visit your primary bank’s website for more information.

The Eligibility criteria is provided to us by the Government and cannot be adjusted by the bank.
Full criteria can be found on our  COVID-19 site .

Getting ready to apply for the loan
To apply, you will need:
Your 2019 Business T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid Slip.
Your Business Account number and transit number (This information is available on either of your Business Bank Statement or one of your Business Account cheques).

Repaying the loan
The Government program payment timelines are as follows: 
  • The Canada Emergency Business Account will be funded as a revolving line of credit and is interest free until Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Any outstanding balance will be converted to a term loan on Jan. 1, 2021 and remains interest fee until Dec. 31, 2022.
  • If repaid by Dec. 31, 2022, 25% of balance will be forgiven.
  • If outstanding on Jan. 1, 2023, 5% interest starts.
  • The remaining balance is to be paid in full no later than Dec. 31, 2025.

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.


Top 5 Questions & Answers From Businesses
Below is a list of the top five most pressing questions we continue to hear and that we are continuing to request clarity from government.

Q. Eligibility requirements for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy of 75% include a requirement of proof of a 30% decrease in revenues compared to the same month last year. This will effectively exclude new businesses, businesses with cyclical revenue, businesses where owners are not paying a salary (reinvesting, repayments of capital, dividend income). How will government ensure these companies can access payroll support?
A.  To date, the Government of Canada has verbally indicated they intend to be flexible in their application of this requirement, but nothing has been officially published. ACC will continue to push for early certainty about the wage subsidy qualifying requirements. 
Q. The self-employed are eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit of $2,000 per month but the program requires the individual to have declared $5,000 in income during the previous year. For some new businesses and those in growth mode, owners often to not pay themselves a salary. Will the $5,000 income requirement be deferred for such individuals?
A.  The Government of Canada has been made aware of this situation, but no change in eligibility criteria has been published or communicated. ACC has communicated that this is a significant issue for individuals personally, as well as the survival of many start-up and high-growth companies across the region.
Q:   To access loans under the Canada Emergency Business Account, applicants must show a minimum annual payroll of $50,000. Much like other benefit programs, the potential exists to exclude very small and new businesses. 
A:  This concern has been communicated to a variety of federal ministers and local MPs. Responses to date have been to acknowledge the concern and promise to raise it inside government. To date, no solution has been communicated that will address this challenge.
Q: Businesses are facing critical liquidity challenges. In addition to the welcome deferral of HST/GST remittances to June, will government delay imposing additional costs through increases to the carbon tax and CPP premiums until this crisis is over?
A:  The government has indicated it intends to proceed with increases to the carbon tax even in the face of crashing gas prices. ACC and the Canadian Chamber continue to advocate for delaying any unnecessary increases in regulation and taxes.
Q: There are several industries that will be hit hard in the coming months due to the decrease in economic activity (e.g., tourism, hospitality and travel). With the possibility of small/large businesses in these sectors losing entire annual revenues, what will government do to mitigate the losses?
A:  No industry specific programs have been announced by government to date. ACC has highlighted to government the importance of tourism to our region and will emphasize the need for directed action to avoid local job loss and business closures.


Free Webcast Series
The Institute on Governance is offering a free  Leading Through COVID-19 Webcast Series. 
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

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 :