COVID-19 Response Update 21
The federal government has made a few important announcements in the past few days and we wanted to make sure you had this information.
The government expanded CEBA to businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. This new range will replace the previous one of between $50,000 and $1 million and will help address the challenges faced by small businesses to cover non-deferrable operating costs. *Since the launch of the CEBA on April 9, 2020, more than 195,000 loans have been approved by financial institutions, extending more than $7.5 billion in credit to small businesses. You can apply at any chartered bank. We expect the Credit Unions to have access today or early next week.

We will also note that although this change is a step in the right direction we continue to advocate along with our other partners that the payroll requirement to completely removed. I believe that the lower threshold leaves the most vulnerable of businesses without the support they need. Be sure to read the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's response to the change.
The federal government is working with the provinces and territories to increase rent support for businesses that are most impacted by the pandemic and the government will have more details to share soon. The intention is to have CECRA provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. Implementation of the program will require a partnership between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships.

The Federal Government yesterday announced changes to the  Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).  To help more Canadians benefit from the CERB, the government is announcing changes to the eligibility rules to:
  • Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
  • Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Extend the CERB to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.

These changes  will be retroactive to March 15, 2020. More details will be posted on the  portal It will take 24-48 hours for the CERB application system to be updated with the new criteria and the revised application portal will be open after that.  Read the press release here.

The Federal Government will now be working together with the provinces and territories to top-up the salaries of low-income essential workers through a new cost-sharing transfer program for those deemed essential. The Government of Canada will cover a portion of the cost of providing temporary financial support to these low-income workers, thereby helping to support employers in keeping their workers on staff, while also ensuring fairness. Through this new transfer, provinces and territories will be able to provide their low-income essential workers (those who earn less than $2,500 per month), with a top up. More details to come.

What to Watch For;
We expect further announcements of support today from the Provincial Government, we would suggest watching the Premiers daily press conference if you are able.
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
We are planning for a few events next week. Keep an eye out for notifications.

If you are interested in providing a webinar or have a subject idea for a webinar, please let us know.
What the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy means for employers 
from Ceridian

On April 11, 2020, Bill C-14, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2received Royal Assent. It enacts the new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to help employers keep and return workers to their payroll through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Like you, many Canadian employers are still searching for clarity to questions regarding eligibility, compliance and as well as how this new wage subsidy interacts with the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy and the EI Work Sharing program. 

Please join on Monday, April 20 from 1:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. as Stuart Ducoffe, HR and Employment Lawyer and Founder of e2r® discusses several employment law considerations related to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. 

The webinar will cover: 
  1. Who is a qualifying employer?
  2. What are the claim periods?
  3. Are employers eligible for the CEWS for all employees?
  4. Interaction with 10%Temporary Wage Subsidy and Work Sharing Program
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.

The Department of Business and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development are working with Inspiring Communities, Click2Order - a tech start up - and local restaurants in Cape Breton to pilot a program to deliver healthy meals to students that normally participate in school lunch programs while schools are closed.
Eligible students from 10 schools in Sydney Mines, Glace Bay and North Sydney will participate in the pilot. Families are contacted by their school and then sign up through Click2Order to receive a $10 credit to order one meal per day (Monday through Friday) from a participating restaurant in their community.
The pilot program will run for the next three weeks and may be extended to other communities.

While dine-in restaurants have been closed due to the Public Health Order, many are finding ways to do business.
Many local restaurants are doing a limited menu or offering pick up and delivery options for customers by phone or online orders. Some restaurants, notably pizza shops, have started to offer meal kit deliveries and pick ups.
While many restaurant owners are trying to be innovative in order to help their businesses survive, we know they are struggling. To help this sector, Nova Scotians are encouraged to support their local restaurants by ordering take out , delivery, or purchasing gift cards for use later for dine-in meals.
NSBI has a list of ways your business can help supply the federal government with emergency products or innovative solutions to help Canada fight the Coronavirus.
Roadmap To Recovery
In the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic, it is difficult for Canadians, their families, businesses and governments to look beyond confronting the immediate effects of COVID-19. While Canadians continue to focus on supporting each other today, we must also start looking over the horizon to the post-COVID-19 world to start planning how our country and economy can emerge stronger.

Chief Economist Responds To Canada’s GDP Numbers 
Dr. Trevin Stratton, Canadian Chamber of Commerce Chief Economist and Vice President of Policy, appeared on CTV News to discuss the current economic situation domestically and globally. Statistics released April 15 indicate that Canada’s GDP contracted by 9% in the month of March.

Mental Health Portal
The Hon. Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, launched a new portal dedicated to mental wellness.  Wellness Together Canada  will connect Canadians to peer support workers, social workers, psychologists and other professionals for confidential chat sessions or phone calls and will make it easier to find credible information and help address mental health and substance use issues.

Johnson & Johnson 
Johnson & Johnson has launched a weekly educational series called The Road to a Vaccine. This eight-episode series will uncover the incredible scientific efforts underway around the world to develop a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus. 

From the lab to the frontlines, this series will bring you behind-the-scenes to learn about the work being done to help end this pandemic.

The Business Of Business: A Conversation With Rick Hansen
In this edition of the Business of Business, Hon. Perrin Beatty, our President and CEO, speaks with Rick Hansen, Founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation. They discuss the challenges COVID-19 poses for persons with disabilities and what employers can do to accommodate their needs, as well as how we can all deal with adversity.