COVID-19 Response Update 6

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.

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

We are expecting more updated today and hopefully more clarification around EI and business supports are on their way.

We will be hosting a online meeting in the coming days, please keep an eye out for that information.

Message from Province of Nova Scotia

Yesterday's announcement of the provincial state of emergency under the Emergency Management Act to help contain the spread of COVID-19 introduced the following specific directives:

1. Effective at 12 noon on March 22, 2020, all Provincial and municipal parks and beaches are closed to all. All travel into those parks and beaches is strictly prohibited.
2. Effective as of 6:00 am on March 23, 2020, all persons entering the Province will be checked at the border.

Workplaces that were open before the Declaration may remain open, provided directives issued to date continue to be followed. Employers know their business and are responsible for occupational health and safety and we look to you to operate in a way that follows the existing directives of Public Health.

Public social gatherings of more than 5 persons has been prohibited under the Health Protection Act. This restriction does not restrict the number of persons in a workplace, provided the directives issued to date under the Health Protection Act measures are being followed including those relating to social distancing and personal health protection.

Persons entering Nova Scotia at any border crossing are required to self isolate unless they are exempt.
Exemptions from self isolation for cross-border travel into Nova Scotia include:
  • healthy workers in trades and transportation sectors who move goods and people,
  • healthy people commuting to work, and
  • people travelling into the province for essential health services.
A person required to self isolate in any jurisdiction before today continues to have that requirement.
The government of Nova Scotia and the federal government are working to put policies, programs and initiatives in place that will assist small businesses immediately and through the next several months.
On Friday, March 20, the provincial government announced several measures to assist small businesses.
Payment deferrals until June 30 on 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. And 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 15 provincial Credit Unions, include deferring principal and interest payments until June 30 and enhancing the program to make it easier for businesses to access credit up to $500,000. Other changes to this program will be announced soon. 
The province will be making more announcements in the coming days and weeks. Please refer to the provincial government’s website at for accurate, regular updates.
Additional Resources:
Government of Canada:
Government of Canada toll-free information line 1-833-784-4397
Fact sheet about cleaning and disinfecting for businesses:

Summary of provincial announcements
Refer to for full details
March 22           State of Emergency declared

March 21           Dentists can no longer practice dentistry in their offices unless deemed necessary to perform an emergency dental procedure

March 18           Announcement re: Personal Services and fitness establishments
  • Includes: hair salons, barbershops, spas, nail salons, body art establishments, gyms

March 17           No public gatherings of more than 50 people
Announcements re: restaurants
In effect March 19, 12:01am
  • Only take-out and delivery permitted
  • Drinking establishments, winery and distillery tasting rooms and craft taprooms closed
  • Private liquor stores permitted to be open, and craft breweries, wineries and distilleries can still sell storefront
  • Access Nova Scotia closed

March 15           Announcements include
  • Long-term care closed effective immediately
  • Public schools and regulated childcare closed
  • Social distancing – 2 meters/6 feet, gatherings of less than 150 or much smaller if possible


Information from Atlantic Chamber of Commerce

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.  


The federal government is reaching out for companies who can produce breathing equipment and personal protective equipment (in particular the N95 masks). Could you activate your business networks behind this goal.

The links below provide information on federal programing.


1.        PSPC has established a web portal and intake form for suppliers that are able to provide specific products (i.e. N95 masks, gowns, gloves and other PPE) or services (i.e. nursing, food, security)
·          Information submitted through the web portal & generic email address are triaged by type and then referred to a procurement “tiger team” that crosswalks the information submitted through the portal to requirements determined by PHAC & P/Ts
·          Generic email address:   
2.        ISED has launched a “call to action” to Canadian manufacturers to help fight COVID-19. They have created a new web page as well as an intake for manufacturers that; make needed supplies, have the potential to rapidly re-tool existing facilities or equipment, or who have skilled workers that could be available to work elsewhere in Canada.
·          Generic email address:
3.        NRC has issued a COVID-19 “Challenge Program” to bring together a national network of researchers and scientific facilities to address the pressing needs for supplies, medical counter measures, and disease-tracking technology. Additionally, through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), the NRC has issued a call out, leveraging its existing relationships with Canada’s innovative SMEs, seeking innovative solutions and candidate for funding through Innovative Solutions Canada

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

Is now available! Click  here .
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