COVID-19 Response Update 4

Our Operations
Please note that after today we will not be staffing our office. We will be working from home, if you need to get in touch with us please email

We are working to get you answers around the many questions that you have. As soon as we learn information we will share it with you. Hopefully you find these daily updates useful, if there is any information you are looking for please be sure to send us an email to let us know.

Please note that we do expect the Premier to announce a number of measures to support business today, we would suggest that you pay attention to the Nova Scotia Government Facebook page for the live feed. We expect that this press conference will be at 3pm.

News from Yesterday's Provincial Press Conference:
Premier Stephen McNeil, chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang, and Community Services Minister Kelly Regan provided an update earlier today, March 19. A recording of the news conference is available on the NS Gov Youtube page:
Details of measures announced to help vulnerable Nova Scotians and to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the province are outlined below:
-- investing $2.2 million so that every individual and family member on income assistance will receive an additional $50 starting Friday, March 20, to help pay for food, cleaning supplies and personal care items. People do not need to apply.
-- $1 million to help Feed Nova Scotia purchase food and hire more staff
-- no tenant can be evicted because their income has been impacted by COVID-19, effective immediately for the next three months
-- emergency funding of $230,000 for Senior Safety Programs and Community Links to help vulnerable older adults
-- university students from Nova Scotia who are still living in residences need to go home, to provide space for social distancing for those students from outside the province who are not able to travel
NSHA issued a news release this afternoon advising of a potential exposure to COVID-19 at two Halifax locations between March 5 and 7. More information is available at this link:
As announced earlier today, Nova Scotia has 14 cases of COVID-19, including five confirmed cases and nine presumptive cases. The news release is available at:  and in French at: .

Information from Atlantic Chamber of Commerce
Please see attached from our Corporate Partner, Deloitte, two helpful documents for business.

First, a summary of all the measures announced by government   recently, and a tax consideration guide for employers in regard to some of the measures announced.

Business Development Bank of Canada
BDC is taking additional measures to provide relief to Canadian entrepreneurs during these difficult times. These include:
  • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to six months for qualifying businesses;
  • Postponement of payments for up to six months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less;
  • Reduced rates on new eligible loans;
  • Additional details regarding Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) measures, including industry specific support, to be announced in the coming days.
To read the full press release, click  here
Over the past couple of days, we’ve received many questions from partners and clients about BCAP, so we’ve compiled some of the key ones below: 
How do I access BCAP?
  •  Businesses seeking support through BCAP should first contact their financial institutions for an assessment of their situation. 
  • Financial institutions will refer to EDC and BDC their existing clients whose needs extend beyond what is available through the private sector alone. 
  •  Existing BDC clients should reach out to their account manager for additional information. 
Why banks first? 
  • Canada’s six biggest banks have made a commitment to work with small business customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through these challenges. 
  • Banks have a longstanding history of standing by Canadians through challenging times, like now. 
  • BDC complements the work of Canada’s private-sector financial institutions, with whom we work closely.
Why is it taking so long?
  • We are receiving an unprecedented volume of requests. We understand the urgency of the situation and have mobilized all BDC teams to respond as quickly as possible.
We encourage you to share this valuable information with your colleagues and clients.

HR Webinar
You may be interested in registering for a free webinar offered by BBB Accredited Business Ceridian. This webinar is hosted by HR and employment lawyer Stuart Ducoffe, and will cover important information you need to know about dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak as an employer.

You can register by clicking  here .

Business Impact Survey

Please complete this survey to help us understand the impacts to your business.

Filing Season Deadline Extensions

In order to provide greater flexibility to Canadians who may be experiencing hardships during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Canada Revenue Agency will defer the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals, including certain trusts.

  • For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020. However, the Agency encourages individuals who expect to receive benefits under the GSTC or the Canada Child Benefit not to delay the filing of their return to ensure their entitlements for the 2020-21 benefit year are properly determined.
  • For trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, the return filing due date will be deferred until May 1, 2020.

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the  Income Tax Act . No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
Free online webinar
How to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on your business

March 25, 2020
12:00 p.m. (EDT)

The spread of COVID-19 poses important challenges to Canadian businesses. With the situation constantly evolving, you need to be prepared for any disruptions. Join BDC experts as they share short-term economic perspectives and advice on how to manage through the crisis.

One of our fellow Atlantic Chambers has had members ask for help with signs/posters to use in their business.

Here are three should you need them. If you need help creating others please let us know.
Destination Canada COVID-19

A message from Destination Canada:

We know the tourism sector is facing uncertain times. We know that you are concerned about your business and day-to-day operations. We are too and we are here to help where we can.

We also know that our tourism sector has the ability to pull together as a team and face challenges with heart. Now more than ever, we must leverage the power of Team Canada to face this truly unprecedented challenge.

So, we are inviting you to a Visitor Economy webinar to share what Destination Canada knows, our approach moving forward and will provide information on federal support initiatives.

Destination Canada COVID-19 Update

When: Friday March 20, 2020 at 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET

Speakers: David Robinson, Interim President & CEO and other members of Destination Canada’s senior team; Business Development Bank of Canada; Parks Canada; Tourism Industry Association of Canada; and Tourism HR Canada.

Conference info:
Meeting ID: 161 625 424
    Canada: +1 587 328 1099
  or +1 647 374 4685
  or +1 647 558 0588
  or +1 778 907 2071
  or +1 438 809 7799
    US: +1 312 626 6799
  or +1 346 248 7799
  or +1 646 558 8656
  or +1 669 900 9128
  or +1 253 215 8782
  or +1 301 715 8592

We will hold a short Q&A at the end of the webinar.

Until then, we have compiled information on Destination Canada’s COVID-19 response and government services relevant for businesses  here .

David Robinson
Interim President & CEO, Destination Canada
To help businesses prepare for and manage the COVID-19 escalation in Canada, the Canadian Chamber has developed a brief guide source from a number of best practice documents and designed to assist business planning and continuity efforts.

Please review all of these resources to help you plan.


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:

Key Information Tools / Outils: 
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
What Canada’s Regional Development Agencies are doing to help business during the COVID-19 pandemic: HTML  -  PDF version
Ce que font les agences de développement régional (ADR) du Canada pour aider les entreprises pendant la pandémie de COVID-19 :  HTML  -  Version PDF
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  .

Business Supports
Work-Sharing Program - Temporary special measures / Programme de travail partagé - Mesures spéciales temporaires:
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  :

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Resources for Canadian businesses / Maladie à coronavirus (COVID-19) : Ressources pour les entreprises canadiennes
COVID-19 subscription for Public Health Updates:
COVID-19 Social Distancing

The recommendations for social distancing from the Chief Public Health Officer, is that people stay at least two (2) meters, or six (6) feet apart and to avoid unnecessary close personal contact.

Ways to practice social distancing include:
  • Avoid shaking hands, and ensure you wash your hands thoroughly, and if you are ill or feeling unwell, stay home;
  • When having conversations with others, observe a two (2) metre, or six (6) foot distance to avoid any transmission;
  • Use instant messaging, or video applications in place of face-to-face conversations;
  • Avoid large gatherings;
  • Sit at least two (2) metres apart in workspaces, where possible;
  • Wipe down shared surfaces, and practice higher frequency cleaning;
  • When working with clients, where possible keep the two-metre distance; and
  • Do not share food, plates or cutlery.