COVID-19 Response Update 8

Message from Executive Director

I wanted to let you know that we continue to work to get you answers and bring the concerns of the business community to government on a regular basis. This is a trying time for all, we understand the challenges that you are facing and know that you are not in this alone. We are here to support you now and in the long term, if you need our support please reach out to us.

We plan to continue these daily email updates so as to provide you a direct means of communication. Feel free to forward these to any other staff or other businesses that you feel need the information. If you would like other in your business to be receiving our emails, please just let us know.

Our work around Doctor Recruitment continues as well, we are moving into a role supporting them and making sure we are recognizing their efforts for the work they will be doing to get us through this crisis. We hope that you will join us in thanking them.

For the time being we are not staffing our office, we drop in on a regular basis to check voicemail and mail. The whole team is working remotely and will be doing so for the foreseeable future.

The following information is extensive, we apologize for the length however this situation is very fluid and we are receiving a large amount of content to provide you with. We hope that this format is working, should you be looking for something else please let me know and we will do our best to add it.

Rick Allwright
cell: 902-740-5251


From Province of Nova Scotia

Details of measures to strengthen the health system and help Nova Scotians dealing with COVID-19 announced today are outlined below:

-- increased testing for COVID-19 -- public health officials have begun testing all close contacts of positive cases
-- lab capacity is doubling to accommodate increased testing
-- expanding virtual care for physicians, nurse practitioners and others so they can offer appointments to patients through telephone or video, minimizing the need to leave the house; more than 80 providers have signed up for video so far
-- 811 has increased staff and technology and is now answering 50 per cent more calls; on April 3, 811 will again double its capacity
-- enhanced infection control measures at hospitals to protect health-care workers and the public include reassigning and adding new staff to increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection; focusing on high-risk areas and high-traffic areas and high-touch surfaces; using stronger cleaning products
-- regulated health professions can only stay open for emergency or urgent cases or to provide virtual care, as long as they can meet social distancing requirements in their waiting room or other non-clinical areas and follow the cleaning protocol
-- non-regulated health professions (such as naturopaths) must close. One exception is podiatrists who must follow the directive related to regulated health professions
-- Access Centres and Registry of Motor Vehicle Offices will start to resume operations in a scaled back, limited contact business model. Staff working out of Access Centres and Registry of Motor Vehicle offices in Amherst, Bridgewater, Dartmouth, Kentville, Stellarton, Sydney and Yarmouth will be available to help people with urgent matters by calling 1-800-670-4357. In addition, government has extended deadlines for more vehicle permits, registrations and renewals until Aug.31. Drop-off boxes for applicable services will also be available at Access Centres in Amherst, Bridgewater, Dartmouth, Kentville, Stellarton, Sydney and Yarmouth. Many of the services are also available online.

Essential service sectors in Nova Scotia, which are exempt from the five-person-or-fewer gathering rules, have been clarified and are:
-- health
-- food, agri-food and fisheries
-- transportation, including trucking, rail and transit
-- construction and manufacturing
-- IT, telecommunications and critical infrastructure
-- public services, such as police, fire and ambulances

Individual business in these sectors must still maintain social distancing and other public health protocols.

A copy of a Health Protection Act Order from Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, has been posted online at

The full news release is available at:  and in French at: .

To date, Nova Scotia has 51 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,474 negative test results. The news release is available at:  and in French at: .

Additional Resources:
Government of Canada:
Government of Canada toll-free information line 1-833-784-4397
Fact sheet about cleaning and disinfecting for businesses:


Information from Atlantic Chamber of Commerce

CFIB Survey
In an effort to assess the impact of Covid-19 on the outlook for the economy the Canadian Federation of Independent Business recently completed a survey of how small businesses have and expect to be impacted. A copy of the response can be viewed  here.

Atlantic Chamber has created COVID-19 Business Resource & Information page


Resources from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is working our network and other business organizations to provide recommendations to the federal government. The Atlantic Chamber of Commerce has added its voice to a call to  significantly increase the level of the wage subsidy in an effort to protect jobs and avoid financial devastation of individuals and businesses .

The Canadian Chamber has also recommended  avoiding imposing any non-essential changes to regulations and fees . Many businesses are overwhelmed by the burden of protecting their businesses and workforce and do not have the capacity to accommodate additional compliance requirements.


HR Webinar Recording

As a recognized global pandemic, we have heard about social distancing and steps we can take to flatten the transmission curve. However, many questions remain as employers seek answers including how to deal with innumerable requests from employees and how best to operate in this unique and challenging environment. 

In the webinar, Stuart Ducoffe, HR and Employment Lawyer and Founder of e2r® discussed several employment law considerations related to COVID-19 and how Canadian employers can prepare to weather through the pandemic. 

For your convenience, we have recorded this session and it is now available for you  here .


How will Ottawa’s economic response plan for COVID-19 support your business?

On March 18, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled an $82-billion economic response plan to help Canadian workers and businesses navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency aid plan aims to support Canadian households, while ensuring small businesses have the cash flow to keep employees on payroll.

Today, many Canadian employers are looking to better understand how the government’s supports will address their concerns related to wage subsidies, deferred tax payments, enhancing the work-sharing program, and more.

Please join us on Thursday, March 26 from 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. ET as Hon. Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade provides an overview of the government’s measures to stabilize the economy and answers any questions you may have about how the government can help your business. 


Summary of Provincial Initiatives to Support Small Businesses as of March 23, 2020
Effective immediately, government will invest $161 million to address cash flow and access to credit for small and medium-sized businesses in Nova Scotia.  

Changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program  (administered through credit unions) include:
For businesses that currently have loans guaranteed through this program:
  • deferring principal and interest payments until June 30
For businesses needing additional credit/liquidity
  • enhancing the program to make it easier for businesses to access credit up to $500,000
  • For businesses that would not qualify for a loan, the provincial government will guarantee the first $100,000

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.
  • Housing Nova Scotia.
small business fees, including:
  • business renewal fees (a list of fees will be posted online early this week)
  • workers compensation premiums

Further measures include:
  • small businesses which do business with the government will be paid within five days instead of the standard 30 days
  • the province will suspend payments on Nova Scotia student loans for six months, from March 30 to Sept. 30. This is automatic, 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

Update on Government of Canada initiatives to support small businesses

  1. WCB payments do not need to be made until June 30 
  2. Corporate income tax payments can be deferred until September 1, 2020 – no interest or penalties on late installments in that period.
  3. Federal temporary wage subsidy in place for 3 months – for wages paid between March 18 and June 20 th . Reduce income tax (NOT CPP OR EI) remittance by 10% of gross wages to a maximum of $1,375 per employee, total maximum $25,000. Continue to deduct tax, CPP and EI from employees as usual. Available to small business (CCPC, under $16M taxable capital), NPOs and charities:


The Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre
Entrepreneurship Certificate Community of Practice

Exciting News!

The Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre is very committed to supporting clients and our local businesses during this time. We finalized the details for delivering on-line workshops. 
Wednesday, March 25th we are offering two online Business Building Brainstorming Sessions. Please see full details below:
FREE - Online Business Building Brainstorming Sessions 

If you just need a taste of normal please join us. We will not be discussing the news, the virus details, the regulations, unless it is new information that changes how you do business. With the ever changing landscape of business we will assist you in finding solutions.

The Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre is reaching out to offer support for our business community with an opportunity to come together, online, as a community, to brainstorm, find solutions, rethink your business plans, or build your support networks, by you offering your support to other entrepreneurs and receiving support.

Bring your optimism, your ideas, and your challenges, and together we will create a community that is physically isolated, not socially. To ensure we have enough time, we are limiting the number of participants to 12.

Seating is limited, register today!

Use the following links to register for your preferred time:

9:00 - 11:30 Session

1:00 - 3:30 Session


Workers’ Comp Comments

Report to employer representatives (OEA, Safety Associations, CFIB, Chambers of Commerce)
We’re reaching out today to let you know how WCB Nova Scotia is continuing to serve employers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In-person services at our WCB offices have been curtailed, in keeping with public health directives. PMI appointments and workplace visits and other in-person meetings have been cancelled and will be rescheduled when it’s safe to do so.
  • Most WCB employees are now working from home. Claim registration and assessment services are ongoing, and employers can contact Employer Services representatives and case workers by secure message through My Account, or by telephone at 1-800-870-3331.
  • Employer premium payments have been deferred until July. 
  • Employers who have been required to close as a result of COVID-19 will have no payroll to report, and therefore no premiums to pay.
  • Interest and late payment fees have also been deferred. More information on deferring employer WCB payments is available here
  • Employer Clearance Letters covering the period April 1 to June 30 were mailed on March 20th
  • Signing up for MyAccount is the best way for employers to stay connected to the WCB and their claims. Sign up is quick, easy and available now at
  • Regular updates on the WCB’s response to COVID-19, and the impact on our services for employers are available here. Please share this resource with the employers you serve.

 Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. During this extraordinary time, the Government of Canada is taking strong action to help Canadian businesses as COVID-19 is affecting them, their employees and their families.

The Government and public health officials are urging all Canadians to:

For businesses, this means: 

Four key considerations for businesses
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/Nouvelles ressources :
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
EDC support announced March 24, 2020 / Appui EDC annoncé le 24 mars 2020
External Links: 
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters COVID-19 Resources
Key Information Tools / Outils importants: 
For help understanding the definition of essential services across borders and to understand what documentation will be required at the Canada – US border: Pour des définitions et de l’information sur des services essentiels et la documentation requise à la frontière :
·          Canada Border Services Agency has established a toll free line, staffed 24/7, to answer specific questions about Border Crossing:  1-800-461-9999  from within Canada, and 1 -204-983-3500 or 1-506-636-5064  from outside Canada. 
·         L’Agence canadienne des services frontaliers a établi une ligne sans frais, 24 heures sur 24, pour des questions sur la frontière : 1 -800-461-9999  en provenance du Canada, et 1 -204-983-3500 ou 1-506-636-5064  de l’extérieur du Canada
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
Exemptions to travel restrictions to protect Canadians and support the economy / Exemptions aux restrictions de voyage afin de protéger les Canadiens et d’appuyer l’économie

Prime Minister announces support for farmers and agri-food businesses under Canada’s response to COVID-19 / Le premier ministre annonce un soutien pour les agriculteurs et les entreprises agroalimentaires dans le cadre de la réponse du Canada à la COVID-19

Expedited access to disinfectants, hand sanitizers and personal protective equipment to help limit the spread of COVID-19, as well as swabs for testing / Accès accéléré aux désinfectants, aux antiseptiques pour les mains et à l'équipement de protection individuelle pour aider à limiter la propagation de COVID-19, ainsi qu' aux écouvillons pour les tests

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

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 aux fournisseurs canadiens: Aidez à combattre la COVID-19
COVID-19 Economic Response Plan Announcements/Annonces sur le plan économique face au 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/Soyez informés
Canada Business App – Appli Affaires Canada : .
COVID-19 subscription for Public Health Updates/Inscription pour les mises à jour sur la santé publique:
Business Supports/ Appui aux entreprises :
Department of Finance - Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses / Ministère des Finances : 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/Emploi et développement social Canada – maladie à COVID-19

Export Development Canada COVID-19/Exportation et développement Canada
Business Development Bank of Canada – Banque de développement du Canada

Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Chambre de commerce du Canada
World Health Organization COVID-19 - Business and Employees / Organisation mondiale de la santé – entreprises et employés
Council of Canadian Innovators – COVID-19 Slack Channel (you must create an account)
English: Business Resource Hub:
Canadian Federation of Independent Business – Fédération canadienne de l’entreprise indépendante
Uber Eats

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

Save Small

The Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) is providing regular Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and resources for the CFA member community to stay informed and be prepared.