Funding Supports for Business & Individuals

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 .

Plan for At-home Student Learning, Online Guidance for Business

March 30, 2020 - 4:34 PM

Premier Stephen McNeil announced plans today, March 30, to support ongoing student learning as Nova Scotians deal with COVID-19.

Following the recommendation of Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, all public schools and licensed child care providers will remain closed until at least May 1.

No student will be penalized because of COVID-19. Students and families will have access to e-learning and at-home learning materials will be provided for students without internet access. Families who feel at-home learning may be a burden are asked to speak to their child’s teacher.

“These are extraordinary times and that requires innovation and co-operation.” said Premier McNeil. “We are focused on math and literacy, we are making sure Grade 12s who were on track to graduate will graduate, but we also want to make sure families have what they need to support learning at home.”

Students who were on track to graduate will graduate and Grade 12 students who need a preliminary paper-based transcript for bursaries, scholarships or university entrance will receive one by contacting their Regional Centre for Education or Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP). Students who were on track to proceed to their next grade will move to their next grade on time. Students will receive end of year report cards.

During the ongoing closure of public schools:

  • all Grade primary to 9 students will receive at-home learning packages distributed bi-weekly by SaltWire Network
  • students in grades 10 to 12 who require at-home learning packages will work with their individual teachers to address their specific needs; additional information on distribution will be forwarded to schools
  • learning will be assignment and project focused
  • a dedicated learning website for families is available at https://curriculum.novascotia.ca/learning-home
  • all school trips planned for May and June are cancelled
  • Provincial Assessments, Nova Scotia Exams and final exams in all courses are cancelled
  • Diplôme d'Études en Langue Française (DELF) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams are cancelled
  • students in grades 9 to 12 will receive additional access to the Homework Hub, a free online resource and tutoring for math
  • teachers will connect directly with students and families to help support learning
  • Students and families will continue to have access to student support services. SchoolsPlus facilitators and community outreach workers continue to support students and families via phone, email and text. The facilitators are also available to accept new referrals to support students and families not currently using SchoolsPlus. Mental health clinicians continue to work with students and their families by phone, secure video conferencing or in person, where possible. For those who require additional supports, ask your teacher or principal and they will connect you to the support you need.

To better support students and adults with special needs, the province is modifying existing policies and agreements to allow teaching assistants and child and youth care support workers to provide paid respite care in the community.

Next year, teachers will help students prepare for their new grade and conduct additional review.

“Nova Scotia’s Learning Continuity Plan is meant to be flexible and provide the most support possible to students in these challenging times.,” said Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “Co-operation is critical in making this work and I want to thank teachers, principals, unions and administrators for keeping a shared focus on the health and education of our students.”

Additionally, the province has created an online tool to help businesses and non-profits clarify if they may remain open and how they can comply with public health orders and workplace safety requirements. This tool is available at https://covid19-employer-assessment.novascotia.ca/en .

Five new cases were identified Sunday, March 29. Most are connected to travel or a known case. To date, Nova Scotia has 5,054 negative test results and 127 confirmed cases.

It is imperative that anyone who has travelled outside Nova Scotia self-isolate for 14 days and for everyone to adhere to the five-person social gathering limit. 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 .

Local Businesses - Can you supply products and services in support of Nova Scotia’s response to COVID-19?

The province is looking for businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions.

https://procurement.novascotia.ca/nova-scotia-together.aspx

Measures to Help Businesses, Seniors and Vulnerable Nova Scotians

Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, gave an update today, March 27, on efforts to help Nova Scotians dealing with COVID-19.

“It is important that we all do our part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by following the rules. Get groceries or go to the pharmacy but not in groups. Walk to exercise, not to socialize and as much as you can, stay at home but stay in touch with others,” said Premier McNeil. “We are also focused today on supporting our small businesses and our most vulnerable citizens and the measures we are taking today will not be the last.”

Measures announced today:

  • government is encouraging retail and commercial landlords to defer lease payments for the next three months for businesses that had to close directly due to the public health order. Landlords who participate by granting such businesses a three month deferral and register by April 3 will be able to claim losses of up to $5,000 per month, if the renting business does not continue operating. Landlords are not permitted to change locks or seize property of businesses who cannot pay rent, if the business closed directly because of COVID-19 public health orders
  • Department of Health and Wellness will distribute up to 800 iPads across the province to long-term care homes so residents can connect with family and friends; the tablets will begin arriving at facilities in April.
  • restaurants will be allowed to include alcohol purchases with takeout and delivery orders as long as the alcohol cost is not more than three times the value of food ordered, effective March 30.
    an amendment to Dr. Strang’s health protection order allows veterinarians to provide virtual care, prescription refills and in-patient urgent or emergencies services.

Measures announced to help vulnerable Nova Scotians by the Department of Community Services are:

  • partnering with Telus to provide 100 phones and calling plans to most-vulnerable clients who have no other means of communication and who may be self-isolated and alone at a cost of $50,000 for the phones and $5,000 per month for the calling plans
  • investing $200,000 to support transition houses as well as other organizations that serve vulnerable women and children
  • investing $55,000 to support 12 smaller community food banks
    extending the hours of its toll-free line for income assistance supports soon, including weekends

“I’ve been encouraged by the way most Nova Scotians have responded – with caring, compassion, community-building and common sense,” said Dr. Strang. “I have also been troubled by reports of people harassing those who test positive. This is when people need the love and support of their community and neighbours the most. So, I am asking you to be kind. Be caring. Be considerate. Be there. Be a friend.”

Seventeen new cases were identified yesterday. Most are connected to travel or a known case. To date, Nova Scotia has 3,649 negative test results and 90 confirmed cases.

It is imperative that anyone who has travelled outside Nova Scotia self-isolate for 14 days and for everyone to adhere to the five-person social gathering limit. 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 .