There have been drastic changes in how businesses can operate. To ensure continued operations, it is important to keep employees and customers safe while providing a quality customer experience. Business as usual has a new meaning, and just like unsafe machinery, we need to change our practices and adapt to the new normal. We have planned a 5-step approach to operate business safely with COVID-19. Our high level tip sheet is below, but if you would like more detailed information download the first version of our more detailed document that includes more details on these 5 steps and also the development of an operational plan and poster examples.
Yesterday, details around the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) were announced. This program is being delivered in Nova Scotia by ACOA and CBDC's.
The RRRF is complementary to existing federal programs.

You must first apply for other federal support measures such as the Canada Emergency Business Account benefit, the Wage Subsidy benefit and the Commercial Rent assistance for small businesses, among others.

Application details to go through ACOA are here:

For the CBDC's their support is said to support main street businesses such as restaurants and retailers in small, rural and remote communities across the region.

During the next few days the CBDC Network will be creating a web portal to offer you the convenience and ease of applying online and make the RRRF application process as streamlined as possible; we appreciate your patience as we prepare to accept applications online at  on the 19th of May.

We are expecting to get further information soon around this program.
Nova Scotia Business & Labour Economic Coalition (NSBLEC)
During yesterday's NSBLEC meeting, much of the discussion was focused on reopening and the guidelines around various industries. We recognize that demand will have a huge impact on whether a company decides to open or not and the Chamber is focused on helping to create confidence and demand. 
There is no formal reopen plan, or dates, and the Nova Scotia government is relying on industries and businesses to come up with their own plans, including maintaining social distancing under the health protection act. To manage an approach to reopening, businesses need to consider contact intensity and contact frequency. We were the last province to close many businesses and will be one of the last to reopen. 

Canada Emergency Student Benefit
Applications begin this Friday, May 15, for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). The CESB provides financial support to post-secondary students, and recent post-secondary and high school graduates who are unable to find work due to COVID-19. This benefit is for students who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI). From May to August 2020, the CESB provides a payment to eligible students of:
$1,250 for each 4-week period or $2,000 for each 4-week period, if you have dependants or a disability. You can apply over the phone or through your  CRA My Account .

Member Survey
You should have received a link to complete a survey from us, if not you can click here to complete it:

There are some updated details here. The government promised full details in mid-May. We believe that the governments may be looking to make a change to the program to make it work better.
Please check back to this l ink often for more details.

On April 24, the provincial government announced that it was partnering with Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) to offer education, training and guidance for small businesses. Through a central online hub, the program will connect businesses across the province with support programs available through post-secondary institutions, government and other regional organizations.

NSCC, through its provincial network, will work with businesses to understand what their needs are, consolidate information to help businesses make sense of the supports available, and will connect businesses to the right organization, federal or provincial funding and training program.

NSCC is collaborating with Nova Scotia’s post-secondary institutions, economic development agencies and community partners including local Chambers of Commerce to ensure businesses can easily access supports they need. 

The intake process for this program is now open. To receive follow up from an NSCC regional team member businesses can complete a short intake form at
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.
Registration is now open for APEC's  third free webinar in our series  on the  economic impacts of COVID-19 on Atlantic Canada  will assess the effects on businesses, labour and investment. APEC’s research staff will highlight key findings from Statistics Canada’s surveys and APEC’s Major Projects Inventory. Leaders in the region’s construction industry will describe the effects on the ground for labour, business and investment activity. APEC President & CEO, David Chaundy, will lead a discussion with panelists on what the recovery may look like. This will be followed by a Q&A session with attendees.

Fred Bergman, Senior Policy Analyst, APEC
The effects of COVID-19 on Atlantic Canada’s businesses and labour markets

Patrick Brannon, Director of Major Projects, APEC
The effects of COVID-19 on investment spending in Atlantic Canada in 2020 and beyond

Brad Smith, President, Build Right NS
How construction firms and workers are adjusting to COVID-19 in the Maritimes

Darin King, Executive Director, Building Trades of NL
How Newfoundland’s construction and offshore oil industries are coping with COVID-19

Panel moderator
David Chaundy, President and CEO, APEC
Wednesday, May 20 @ 10 a.m. 
SEO: Why Search engine Optimization is More Important Than Ever Before
Michael MacMillan of MacMillan Search will discuss how to keep clients informed and up-to-date using the search results from your homepages metadata and Google My Business; determining what types of keywords drive and what is currently driving traffic; informing your content calendar schedule based on historical trends using Google Trends.
The Yarmouth & Area Chamber of Commerce as a member of the Nova Scotia Business and Labour Economic Council worked with group and Saltwire to get this poster in the flyers and the articles linked below distributed to over 250,000 households. I encourage you to read this and watch for this to come out through Saltwire's flyer distribution this week.
Elevating Canadian Experiences Workshop Coming Virtually to Yarmouth & Acadian Shores on May 21st! 
Led by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, get ready for a day full of learning, product development and growth strategies in collaborative online workshops. These workshops are designed to help tourism operators in winter/shoulder seasons and in the culinary sector learn, rebuild and grow to increase their tourism potential.

Both sessions will be held twice, once at 9am and again at 1pm, making it flexible and convenient to attend one – or both – if you wish! 

Secure your spot and register today at: 
Recording Now Available: How To Navigate Government Programs With KPMG 
There is an impressive array of federal, provincial and territorial government programs that offer subsidies, loans and other measures to meet the urgent needs of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Professionals from KPMG joined us for a live interactive discussion to help businesses better understand these programs and how they can help their operations. If you were unable to attend, the session was recorded.

Hassan Yussuff And Perrin Beatty: Canada Needs A National Task Force On How Best To Reboot The Economy 
Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress, and Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, wrote a joint op-ed arguing for the need for a national task force to determine how best to reboot the Canadian economy. The task force would help filter the best ideas and build consensus across civil society when it is time for implementation and would include industry-specific tables to ensure decision-makers take the specialized needs of each sector into account. 
Provide your perspective on government policy/programs, enrol in the  Atlantic IMPRESSIONS Atlantique   survey participant list.