COVID-19 Response Update 20
We have a few events coming up this week and we are also suggesting that you pay close attention this week for further announcements with regards to business supports, we are aware of some potential supports that are at least going to be announced in the near future.

At the daily provincial press conference modelling was released, if you have not seen it yet and are interested the link is here:

Yesterday we were involved in a call with Minister Joly as part of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce; the following is a link to a recording of this session:

A few things that were mentioned in this call that need further clarification.
  • The 10% wage subsidy still exists for organization that do not participate in the 75% wage subsidy.
  • The Minister mentions in the video that those on CERB will be able to work for 10 hours per week, it was also mentioned by the PM. This is not in place yet, but it appears they intend to make this happen. We will update you if this does happen as it may help a number of you.
We have created a new page for all information we have related to COVID-19.

As things continue to change we will update this website in addition to sending out updated via email that have updated and new information.

Be sure to save this page and refer back to it as this situation progresses.
Upcoming Yarmouth Chamber Events

Thursday, April 16 - 9:30am

Let's get Social VIRTUALLY!

Grab your coffee, tea, or whatever else you fill your cup with..we won't tell.. and join us for a virtual coffee!

Bring your questions, concerns, ideas, and your support!

We know that when we all work together we can create a community of stronger businesses as we grow from this experience together.

Friday, April 17, 2020
Online Meeting using Zoom

Grant Thornton has been working on a number of things to help their clients and businesses in their communities. They look forward to hosting a virtual meeting with our members. The topics they plan to cover include:

  • Cash flow programs
  • Employee programs
  • Federal credit programs
  • Provincial credit programs
  • Cash flow management
  • Preparing to talk to your bank
  • Financial statement impact

Presenters will be:
  • Cody Lohnes
  • Louis Francoeur
  • Corrine Larkin

COVID-19: Get financing and support for your business

Regardless of the size and scope of your business, these are challenging times for Canadian companies. Export Development Canada (EDC), along with our partners and the federal government, stand ready to support you. 

Our capacity to help Canadian companies was expanded under the $65 billion federal government Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP). Plus, the federal government recently empowered EDC to provide financial solutions to non-exporting companies. Other new assistance tools and programs are also being launched to help you protect your business. 

In our new webinar, presented in  English only COVID-19: Get financing and support for your business , a panel of experts will provide guidelines on how you can access the financial relief and safeguards available to you.

Join us live on Thursday, Apr. 16 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET to learn about:
  • The assistance programs and resources available to your company through your financial institution, the federal government, and EDC
  • How to determine what assistance you qualify for, how to apply, and the timing you can expect 
  • How EDC is helping our customers with capital, insurance and knowledge in our newly-expanded role
  • Where to get information and who to contact 
Under Section 14 of the Emergency Management Act, the Minister’s directive has been updated to prohibit companies, corporations, co-operatives, societies and other businesses in Nova Scotia, including condominium corporations and statutory corporate boards, from holding any statutorily required shareholder or member meetings in-person if it requires a gathering of more than five people. In place of required in-person meetings, virtual meetings and meeting deferrals are recommended.

Applications for the Small Business Impact Grant opened at 8am on Friday, April 10. Staff worked throughout the Easter weekend responding to questions and troubleshooting. As of this afternoon, there have been 1,400 applications and assessments have begun. 

The $20-million program, announced April 2, 2020, provides a one-time grant equal to 15% of revenue from sales, either from April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000 to eligible small businesses, non-profits, charities and social enterprises who have had to close or greatly reduce operations because of the public health order. 

Applications opened on Friday, April 10. Applicants are asked to first check their eligibility and gather the supporting documentation needed for their application before calling the 1-800 Canadian Red Cross number to register. Red Cross agents are available seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm.  Phone lines to the Canadian Red Cross remained busy for most of the long weekend. As of this afternoon, 3,900 applications from across the province had been received.
After registering for the program, applicants will receive an email with a link to a survey to further validate eligibility for the program. Once deemed eligible, they will receive the $1000 within a couple of days by e-payment. A second-tier evaluation will be conducted if necessary. 

The provincial government has announced several initiatives to address cash flow and access to credit for small and medium sized businesses in Nova Scotia:

  • The Small Business Impact Grant provides a one-time grant equal to 15% of revenue from sales, either from April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000 to eligible small businesses, non-profits, charities and social enterprises who have had to close or greatly reduce operations because of the public health order. 

  • The COVID-19 Rent Deferral Support Program will indemnify qualified landlords for losses incurred as a result of granting a rent deferral to qualified businesses directly impacted by the Health Protection Act orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 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 has been posted online.

  • Changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, administered through 15 provincial Credit Unions, include deferring principal and interest payments until June 30. 

  • Other changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program include 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. 

COVID-19, Energy And Canada’s Economic Choices Going Forward
Until a vaccine is developed, the price of Canadian oil, like oil everywhere, will remain hostage to a pathogen. So, what can the federal government do to help the industry, and the nearly one million women and men employed by the sector across this country, pass through the darkest valley they have ever faced? 

Second Emergency Wage Subsidy Bill Becomes Law
On Saturday, both the House of Commons and the Senate passed the expanded Emergency Wage Subsidy legislation. We are pleased to see its passage; however, we continue to advocate that it is imperative for the subsidy dollars to begin flowing within days, not weeks.

Government Provides Funding To Ag Sector For Temporary Foreign Workers’ Quarantine
On April 13, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced $50 million ($1,500 per TFW) to help farmers, fish harvesters and all food production and processing employers put in place the measures necessary to follow the mandatory 14-day isolation period required of all workers arriving from abroad.

The funding is conditional on employers not being found in violation of the mandatory 14-day isolation protocols or any other public health order. This program will be available as long as the Quarantine Act is in force and the isolation protocol is followed.

COVID-19 And Available Financing
Are you a non-essential business and wondering what you should be doing during this crisis to get your finances in order? If so, Patrick Gill, Director of Tax and Financial Policy for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, has some advice for you. 
Symplicity Designs is a Halifax/Moncton based business consulting group and they are providing webinars on a daily basis for free to help you figure out how to navigate you way to the other side of this crisis. We highly suggest checking out their webinars.

In addition to this, we are utilizing our partnerships with our members, other Chambers and organizations in the region who have a number of webinars happening as well.