COVID-19 Response Update 5

We are going to do our best to continue providing updates on a daily basis, weekends included. Please feel free to reach out should you have any questions that we might be able to help find you answers for.

Please be sure to look about halfway through this email, we have a poll we would like you to answer.

Our Operations
Please note that we will not be staffing our office. We will be working from home, if you need to get in touch with us please email or call Rick on his cell phone at 902-740-5251


News from Yesterday's Provincial Press Conference:

As expected the Province announced a number of measures to support business, here is the details that we have right now. We are waiting on more details and through a provincial group we have direct access to the Deputy Minster of Business.

Premier Stephen McNeil, Minister of Business Geoff MacLellan and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, announced today, March 20, measures to help Nova Scotians and Nova Scotia businesses dealing with COVID-19.
Effective immediately, government will invest $161 million to address cash flow and access to credit for small and medium-sized businesses in Nova Scotia.
“I’ve put together a rapid response team to help us best understand the needs of small and medium-sized businesses and our first wave of supports is focused on those most immediately impacted,” said Mr. MacLellan. “We will take further steps as necessary.”

Government will defer payments until June 30 for:
  • all government loans, including those under the Farm Loan Board, Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, Jobs Fund, Nova Scotia Business Fund, Municipal Finance Corp. and Housing Nova Scotia.
  • small business fees, including business renewal fees and workers compensation premiums (a list of fees will be posted online early next week)

Changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, administered through credit unions, include:
  • deferring principal and interest payments until June 30
  • enhancing the program to make it easier for businesses to access credit up to $500,000
  • those who might not qualify for a loan, government will guarantee the first $100,000

Further measures include:
  • small businesses which do business with the government will be paid within five days instead of the standard 30 days
  • suspending payments on Nova Scotia student loans for six months, from March 30 to Sept. 30 and students do not have to apply
  • ensuring more Nova Scotians can access the internet to work from home, by providing $15 million as an incentive to providers to speed up projects under the Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative and complete them as soon as possible

Anyone who has travelled outside of Canada must self-isolate for 14 days when they return to Nova Scotia. If you have 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:

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


Information from Atlantic Chamber of Commerce
Our team is sending out specific updates in relation to Provincial announcements made today in NS and NB, but we wanted to share with you a request we have made to government.

ACC has sent a  letter of request  to Minister Morneau, asking the Government of Canada to consider  allowing for immediate tax-free withdrawals from RRSPs for a period of 90 days up to a maximum of $10,000

This bridging measuring could offer very real relief to cash flow as people, families and businesses access the supports announcement by the Minister earlier this week.

Please see links below 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.

The Atlantic Chamber of Commerce conducted a survey of members.


Resources from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
On Monday, March 23, 1:30 pm ET, we will host a call on COVID-19 crisis and immigration, specifically the  Temporary Foreign Worker  program. If you have not already registered, please consider doing so at this link:

The Canadian Payroll Association has shared from FAQ's that may be of interest. You can access that information here: Payroll & COVID-19 FAQ's


Other Resources
Starr Cunningham the CEO of the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia delivered a document you can share with your staff or members about working from home. Download Here.

APEC did a great online presentation of the economic impacts of Covid-19 to the Atlantic provinces. For some reason the link starts in the middle of the presentation, but just pull it back to the beginning.  


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 .
The recording of 
"Dealing with the Coronavirus: What to do immediately, to help save your tourism industry & downtown businesses"

Is now available! Click  here .
Webinar/Online Meeting

We are considering hosting an online meeting/webinar type session with local professionals that may be able to help you navigate this current situation. We are wondering if you would be interested in this.
I would attend an online meeting with local professionals
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.
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:

New resources:
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
BDC Webinar (March 25 th ) How to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on your business / Comment faire face aux impacts de la COVID-19 sur votre entreprise

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

Key Information Tools / Outils: 
COVID-19 Economic Response Plan Announcements: 
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:
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