COVID-19

REGIONAL DESTINATION MARKETING ORGANIZATION PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM

The COVID-19 pandemic and the related travel restrictions have had a significant impact on tourism businesses and the organizations that work to promote communities throughout the province. Using partnership funds from Destination Canada, Tourism Nova Scotia is offering funding through a new program, the Regional Destination Marketing Organization Partnership, to support these organizations as we work to encourage people to explore our province when it is safe to do so.

The program will help eligible regional destination marketing organizations implement marketing activities that are complementary to Tourism Nova Scotia’s marketing recovery plan.

Details on the program and applications are available at https://tourismns.ca/regionalmarketingpartnershipprogram

The application deadline is Friday, June 26.

Support for Agriculture Sector Dealing with COVID-19

Nova Scotia’s agricultural businesses continue to produce food and generate economic activity, even when faced with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The province is responding to the sector’s immediate needs to help keep it strong.

“This support package will help farmers manage risks that are currently threatening the viability of their farm operations and our food supply system,” said Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell. “We need a strong agriculture sector and by taking these steps, we are helping our farm families improve their competitiveness, productivity and profitability at a time of significant change.”

In partnership with the federal government, the assistance includes a new COVID-19 Response and Mitigation Program, funded under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, that helps mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will help food producers with the costs of meeting extra health requirements due to COVID-19, help producers get their crops to market, fund projects aimed at maintaining competitiveness, productivity, profitability, and support abattoir efficiency and development.

Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada have agreed to increase the 2020 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50 to 75 per cent for producers. The program supports producers experiencing a large decline in farm income.

They are also providing a 10 per cent discount on producers’ share of AgriInsurance premiums, saving farmers from making these payments during difficult times. AgriInsurance is an insurance against natural hazards to reduce the financial impact of production losses.

Agricultural businesses can apply for the assistance now.

Resources:

COVID-19 Response and Mitigation Program: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/agriculture-response-program/

Canadian Agricultural Partnership Cost-Shared Programs in Nova Scotia: https://novascotia.ca/canadian-agricultural-partnership/

Canadian Agricultural Partnership: https://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/key-departmental-initiatives/canadian-agricultural-partnership/?id=1461767369849

Business Risk Management Programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership: https://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-our-department/key-departmental-initiatives/canadian-agricultural-partnership/canadian-agricultural-partnership-business-risk-management-programs-effective-april-2018/?id=1500475317828

Province Easing Visitor Restrictions in Long-term Care, Homes for Persons With Disabilities

Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, announced today, June 10, the easing of some visitor restrictions in long-term care homes and homes for persons with disabilities .

Effective Monday, June 15, visits can resume at long-term care facilities, provided they happen outdoors and visitors stay two metres or six feet away from residents and staff.

This change also applies to homes funded by the Department of Community Services under the Homes for Special Care Act.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for all of us but in many ways, it has been hardest on our seniors in nursing homes and those living in homes for persons with disabilities,” said Premier McNeil. “That’s why we are easing visitor restrictions while keeping many of our public health directives in place to protect our most vulnerable.”

Individual long-term care facilities and homes for persons with disabilities will communicate directly with residents and their families to arrange visits.

“I can only imagine how tough it has been for long-term care residents and participants in homes for persons with disabilities to not be able to connect with their loved ones,” said Dr. Strang. “Outdoor visits are a way to bring residents and their friends and families back together safely.”

To ensure resident and visitor safety, the following measures will be in place:

  • visits will only take place outdoors, in designated areas on the facility’s grounds
  • a maximum of two visitors may attend at one time
  • visitors must maintain physical distance of two metres or six feet
  • visitors must be screened for COVID-19 upon entry and wear a non-medical mask; anyone with symptoms will not be permitted to enter
  • visitor information must be logged, including date and time of visit to the facility
  • visitors who are self-isolating are not permitted to enter the facility or grounds
  • visits will be monitored by staff, who will escort visitors to the designated area and provide personal protective equipment if needed

Facilities will be provided with materials to support this change, including screening guidelines and staff education materials.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for Small Businesses

Nova Scotia is participating in the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for Small Businesses program. The program, in partnership with the federal government, will provide rent relief for commercial small businesses that have temporarily ceased operations or lost at least 70% of revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Landlords who register for the program can get a forgivable loan to cover half of the rent in April, May and June if they lower the rent by 75% over that period.

You can apply for the program on the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s website.

PROVINCE INVESTS IN NEW BUSINESSES, INNOVATION

The province is investing $750,000 to help start-up businesses seize opportunities emerging from COVID-19. Business incubators Volta, Ignite and the Organization for Nova Scotia Innovation-Driven Enterprise (ONSIDE) will receive funding to help new businesses get off the ground. Funding through Innovacorp will support startup activities in Cape Breton, including an entrepreneur in residence, acceleration programs, training opportunities, a makerspace, mentorship and networking events.

As the province focuses on economic recovery, new start-ups and innovation-driven entrepreneurs will play an important role in restarting the economy. This investment will help drive the creation of new business and support innovative solutions as we adjust to the post-COVID reality.

Business incubators help start-up companies through a variety of support services, including physical space, access to technology, coaching, shared services and networking. Volta, Ignite and ONSIDE will also provide programs and supports focused on issues and challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on this and other support for Nova Scotia Businesses please visit: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/support/#support-for-business

Guidelines to Support Safe Community Celebration of Graduates

Communities will be able to celebrate their 2020 graduates this year, provided they are led by an established organization and follow public health guidelines to ensure celebrations are safe.

Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia, announced today, June 5, an exemption under the Public Health Act order to allow community organizations, businesses or municipalities to hold celebrations to recognize graduates due to the loss of traditional graduation ceremonies.

All public high schools in Nova Scotia will recognize and honour Grade 12 graduates receiving diplomas. This will be separate from any celebrations that might be held in the community.

All non-school based, community celebrations of graduates must be held by a recognized business, municipality or community organization (like a club, association, society, volunteer group, faith-based group), and the local municipality, police and fire departments and EHS must be informed and supportive of the planned event.

“Graduation ceremonies are an important tradition not only for the students who worked so hard to get there, but for their loved ones who supported them along the way,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “The class of 2020 is moving on from high school during a unique time and while their festivities will look different this year, there are ways to celebrate safely. Congratulations to all of the graduates of 2020. I know the last few months of school looked quite a bit different, but I hope you’re proud of all you’ve accomplished.”

“Living with COVID-19 continues to be a balance for us all. Unfortunately, students leaving school this year won’t have a traditional graduation ceremony or prom,” said Dr. Strang. “We want to support communities in recognizing these students, but it’s vital these celebrations are done safely, without risking the health of participants.”

Conditions under the exemption include:

  • attendees must arrive in a vehicle
  • all passengers in the vehicle must be from a single household or household bubble
  • graduates can be out of their vehicle to do things like cross a stage or take part in a parade of graduates as long as physical distance (two metres or six feet) is maintained between all graduates while they are out of their vehicle
  • organizers must communicate clearly with attendees in advance and ensure other public health protocols, like physical distancing, are followed

A full list of the conditions and protocols under this exemption can be found at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/community-celebration-graduates .