Funding Supports for Business & Individuals

Preparing to reopen Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is preparing to reopen the province safely. As more businesses, organizations, services and public spaces reopen, we need to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep everyone safe.

To help businesses & organizations understand how to work within the public health guidelines, they have launched a new website: https://novascotia.ca/reopening-nova-scotia/.

Province Announces Credit, Cash, Support Package for Small Businesses

Nova Scotia small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 need access to financial support.

That is why the province announced today, April 24, the COVID-19 Small Business Credit and Support Program as a temporary stream for access to credit, cash grants and support delivered through participating credit unions. The program will be available starting Wednesday, April 29.

“Many small businesses don’t qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and need our help,” said Business Minister Geoff MacLellan. “We’re focused on offering programs that complement federal programming and bridge gaps. This new stream provides small businesses much needed access to cash and other business supports to help them now and after the pandemic.”

To be eligible, small businesses must have a payroll less than $20,000 in the previous fiscal year and have experienced a decline in revenue from sales of at least 15 per cent in March or at least 30 per cent in April, May or June.

As part of the package of supports for small businesses, the province is working with post-secondary education partners to deliver education, training and guidance to small businesses. A centralized hub hosted by the Nova Scotia Community College will connect businesses to support programs available from post-secondary institutions and other regional organizations.

As well, Nova Scotia is partnering with the federal government to provide commercial rent relief for small businesses that have temporarily ceased operations or experienced a 70 per cent revenue decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The province is contributing $9 million to the program.

Quick Facts:
the program is 100 per cent guaranteed by the province. Maximum loan amount is $25,000
upon approval, businesses will receive a grant up to $1,500, as well as a COVID-19 Business Continuity Voucher of up to $1,500, to help hire a private consultant for advice and support
an additional $20 million has been made available through the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program that will help fund the new temporary COVID-19 response. The grant has a cap of $3 million
funding for the grant will come from the existing contribution agreement between the province and Dalhousie University
the Business Continuity Voucher Program will be administered by Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI). The grant will be delivered through the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council. Applicants will be referred to the NSBI regional business development advisor to identify other COVID-19 related programs they might be eligible for
the package will be available until June 30
this is in addition to other supports previously announced, including the Small Business Impact Grant, Rent Deferral Guarantee Program, Worker Emergency Bridge Fund, deferring fees, loan and interest payments
Additional Resources:
Support for businesses announced by the province: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/support/#support-for-business

Applications for the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program can be submitted through https://honestmoney.ca/nsbusinessrelief

Prime Minister announces expanded access to Canada Emergency Response Benefit and support for essential workers

The Government of Canada is taking significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

No Canadian should have to choose between protecting their health, putting food on the table, paying for their medication or caring for a family member. This is why the government introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), a taxable benefit of $2,000 every four weeks for up to four months for eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the government is stepping up to better support those who need help but don't qualify for the CERB, and Canadians working in essential jobs who make less than they would if they received the benefit.

To help more Canadians benefit from the CERB, the government will be changing 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 usual seasonal work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Extend the CERB to workers who recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed particular demands on low-income workers in certain sectors, including those on the front-line in hospitals and nursing homes, those ensuring the integrity of the food supply, or providing essential retail services to Canadians.

In recognition that these essential workers’ salaries are often less or similar than what they would receive from the CERB, the government will work with provinces and territories through a new transfer to cost-share a temporary top-up to the salaries of workers deemed essential in the fight against COVID-19, who make less than $2,500 a month. Details as to the application and delivery of this measure will be released shortly following further work with provinces and territories. This measure could help several million workers currently involved in the COVID-19 response. The government will continue to look for ways to better help all Canadians during this difficult time.

https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/04/15/prime-minister-announces-expanded-access-canada-emergency-response

Nova Scotia Small Business Impact Grant

If your small business, non-profit, or charity had to close or reduce operations because of the COVID-19 public health order, you may be eligible for a one-time grant.

Tomorrow, applications open for the Nova Scotia Small Business Impact Grant. This one-time grant is equal to 15 per cent of revenue from sales, either from April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000. You can use it for any purpose.

The deadline to apply is April 25th. Click here for more details: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/Small-Business-Impact-Grant-guidelines.pdf.

Canadian Business Resilience Network

In partnership with the Government of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network to help Canadian businesses navigate the COVID-19 reality and prepare for recovery.

This site, https://www.canadianbusinessresiliencenetwork.ca/ and a supporting campaign will continue to grow in the weeks and months ahead as we work together to support and protect our businesses, our communities and our economy.

Measures to Help Citizens, Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, gave an update today, April 2, on efforts to help Nova Scotians dealing with COVID-19.

“Our small businesses and those who are self-employed have always been at the heart of our economy but now that COVID-19 is here, layoffs and closures have slowed the pace of our economy,” said Premier McNeil. “Our economic support plan has added two new programs that will put more than $40 million in the pockets of those out of work and small businesses affected by COVID-19. The goal is to begin processing applications early next week – to get cash out the door as quickly as possible.”

New measures announced today:

a $20 million Worker Emergency Bridge Fund to help the self-employed and those laid-off workers who do not qualify for Employment Insurance. Government will provide a one-time, $1,000 payment, to bridge the gap between layoffs and closures and the federal government’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit
$20 million to fund a new program -- the Small Business Impact Grant. Eligible small businesses and social enterprises will receive a grant of 15 per cent of their revenue from sales -- either from April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000. This flexible, one-time, upfront grant can be used for any purpose necessary
Today’s announcements, totalling $40 million, will come out of a new $50 million fund that will be administered by Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Eligibility for the programs is not affected by a person or business being enrolled in another provincial program or the federal initiatives.

An announcement on when the programs are ready for applications will come early next week.

Other measures announced today include:

the current state of emergency is extended until noon, April 19
a new extended hours phone line has been set up for people wanting information on income assistance eligibility from the Department of Community Services. Call toll-free 1-833-722-1417 from Monday to Friday 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During regular business hours, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. call the regular toll-free line at 1-877-424-1177.
To date, Nova Scotia has 7,446 negative test results and 193 confirmed cases. Those cases range in age from under 10 to over 80. A map and graphic presentation of the case data is now available at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/data .

“As I have said before, we have cases in all parts of the province,” said Dr. Strang. “So it is imperative that all Nova Scotians follow the public health directives and orders – practise good hygiene, keep a distance of two metres or six feet away from others, limit essential gatherings to five or fewer people, and self-isolate for 14 days after travel or if you have come in contact with a known case.”

Anyone who has travelled outside Nova Scotia must self-isolate for 14 days. As always, any Nova Scotian who develops symptoms of acute respiratory illness should limit their contact with others until they feel better. If they are concerned about COVID-19 they can go to https://811.novascotia.ca/ and use the online assessment tool. Anyone referred to an assessment site by 811 will be tested.

Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus .