COVID-19 Response Update 9

We had a great online meeting with 50 local business owners and elected representatives. Going forward plan to see more of these become available. We are working on providing a recorded version and also the notes from the meeting in the near future.

There is new information below so please take a look through.


We learned on a call with Federal and Provincial representatives that it is expected (not guaranteed) that supports for businesses and individuals will be rolling out through Canada Revenue Agency.

To apply for these supports you may need to be registered with My Account (for individuals) or My Business Account (for businesses). Sometimes people my experience a delay if a PIN number is required to be sent through the mail. We are suggesting that this may save you time in the future.

To do so you can head to the following websites based on your needs;
My Business Account
My Account for Individuals

Even if you are not sure you will need support it does not hurt to sign up for these accounts for future use.


The Government of Canada just announced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This taxable benefit will provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB is a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.


Department of Business Communique
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
On March 24, the province issued the Health Protection Act Order You can find it here –

At this point, government is not declaring any businesses as essential services. All businesses (except those directed to close by Public Health) can remain open if they can follow the Public Health directives. Businesses must maintain a social distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between clients and customers. If that isn’t possible, clients and customers must not exceed five (5). In addition, businesses must maintain regular cleaning and disinfecting of workplaces and high-touch areas at least twice a day.

Some businesses who can maintain the social distancing requirements can be exempt from the five-person rule. These include grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, construction and manufacturing, transportation including trucking, rail and transit, financial institutions, agri-food and fish plants. Canadian blood collection clinics are also exempt.

In addition, there are some exemptions for self isolation and self quarantine for healthy workers that cross NS border as part of their work. These include the trade or transportation sectors, offshore workers, workers in agri-food and the fish industry, and those workers who cross the NS border on a regular, ongoing basis to travel for work. These individuals must still practice social distancing and self isolate should COVID9-19 symptoms appear.

The best way to stay informed with up to date and accurate information is to regularly visit

Workplace Safety
If COVID-19 is identified as a potential workplace hazard, parties have the duty to develop internal process to reduce risk to their staff. Employees should raise their concerns with their immediate supervisor / manager or Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee.

Those who have specific questions about safe working conditions, and whether LAE will continue to inspect worksites and schedule technical safety exams, should consult the department’s Safety Branch at:  or 1-800-9Labour.

Labour Standards – Pay and Job Security
The NS Labour Standards Code provides job protection for employees who are unable to perform work due to an emergency as defined under the Code, including the recent Order. For specific questions about pay, job security and layoffs contact LAE’s Labour Standards Division  or 1-888-315-0110.

The ability of many businesses and the cultural sector to generate revenue has been negatively impacted by the recent Order and they are left wondering how they will pay their bills. Government is encouraging landlords to defer rent for their tenants.  Download rent deferral template developed by the Department of Business.
To keep cash in the hands of our small business operators, government has implemented a rapid payment process on invoices it receives from small businesses with which we do business. Invoices will be paid within five days, instead of the standard 30 days.
On Friday, March 20, the provincial government announced several initiatives to address cash flow and access to credit for small and medium sized businesses in Nova Scotia.

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. 

Fees, including business renewal fees and workers compensation premiums, will be deferred. A list of applicable 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. 

More supports will be announced in the coming days.
Managed by the United Way Halifax in collaboration with 10 United Ways throughout Atlantic Canada, the Atlantic Compassion Fund has been established to support community agencies and the people they serve who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As public health measures are being made across the region, people who are already vulnerable are facing major disruptions and new risks – and many are in crisis right now. Things like a lack of access to food, medicine and transportation, the closure of public spaces, lost wages, and inability to connect with family, friends or care providers can take already challenging circumstances to unmanageable extremes.
The Fund will help meet basic needs, reduce the impact of further marginalization, and bring people back together when the time is right. 

Since launched mid last week, the Fund has distributed $100,000 to agencies in HRM with another $100,000 being readied for approval and distribution this week. The UW is working closely with the province and other partners so this program supports, fills gaps and complements other efforts rather than unintentionally duplicating efforts.

For more information, or to make a donation, visit

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


Information from Atlantic Chamber of Commerce

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


Resources from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Initially issued on Saturday, an expanded call for support has resulted in over 60 plus organizations in our business coalition signing onto a joint statement from Canadian business to government reiterating the need to focus all efforts on fighting the fight on COVID-19 on behalf of all Canadians.

Our member, Deloitte, has published a useful guide on the government funding programs available to small- and medium-sized businesses.
Click here  to read it.

Our member, Shopify, has compiled resources, information and tools to support Canadian businesses and help them navigate through the COVID-19 crisis, including $200 million in small business funding.
Click here  to learn more.

How We Are Helping Canadian Businesses
We remain in close contact with the federal government throughout this pandemic. We spoke to the Prime Minister prior to the stimulus announcement and our President and CEO, Perrin Beatty, was invited by Finance Minister Morneau to attend his press conference following the stimulus announcement. Additionally, we’ve recently spoken to Ministers Mendicino and Joly and will be speaking with Minister Ng on Friday.

23DigitalPower, a Peterborough-based digital marketing firm, has produced videos with tips and tricks to help businesses through the pandemic. Check out  Virus Economics: 5 Steps to Setting Up Remote Teams  and  Helping Companies #FlattenTheCurve .

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 :

Announcement by Minister of Finance, March 25 / Annonce du ministre des Finances, le 25 mars

Work-Sharing Program / Programme de travail partagé :
Service Canada a créé une unité de renseignements bilingue pour les employeurs touchés par COVID-19 qui recherchent des informations relatives au Programme de travail partagé. Les demandes de renseignements peuvent être envoyées à la boîte aux lettres ci-dessous pour obtenir des renseignements précis sur le Travail partagé ou pour demander des renseignements généraux sur le programme :
Service Canada has created a bilingual enquiry unit for employers affected by COVID-19 that are seeking information related to the Work-Sharing Program. Enquiries can be sent to the mailbox below for specific Work-Sharing information or to request general information about the Program:

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

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

Business Credit Availability Program/ Programme de credit pour les entreprises
Resources for Canadian businesses: COVID-19 / Ressources pour les enterprises canadiennes: 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.