COVID-19: Resources for Business

This page provides resources and information for community member owned businesses. This information is specific to Nova Scotia, Canada but maybe useful to business located in other areas of Canada.

Resources

Government of Canada

 

Wage Subsidy of 75%

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) supports employers that are hardest hit by the pandemic, and protect the jobs Canadians depend on.

The subsidy covers 75% of an employee's wages – up to $847 per week - for employers of all sizes and across all sectors who have suffered a drop in gross revenues of at least 15% in March, and 30% in April and May.

The program will be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to August 29th, 2020.

Employers eligible for the CEWS are entitled to receive a 100% refund for certain employer contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan paid in respect of employees who are on leave with pay. For employers that are eligible for both the CEWS and the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for a period, any benefit from the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific period will generally reduce the amount available to be claimed under the CEWS in that same period.

More information: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/wage-subsidy.html

Extending the Work-Share Program

The federal government is extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. The Work-Sharing program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers. Apply here: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/work-sharing/apply.html

Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy

The Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deduction required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

You are an eligible employer if you:

  • are a(n):

    • individual (excluding trusts),

    • partnership.

    • non-profit organization,

    • registered charity, or

    • Canadian-controlled private corporation (including a cooperative corporation) eligible for the small business deduction;

  • have an existing business number and payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020; and

  • pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an eligible employee.

More info: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/frequently-asked-questions-wage-subsidy-small-businesses.html

Deferred Income Tax Payment

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.  This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. 

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

On March 13, 2020, the Government announced the establishment of a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to help Canadian businesses obtain financing during the current period of significant uncertainty.  The BCAP will support access to financing for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions.

Through this program the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will provide more than $10 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support at market rates to businesses with viable business models whose access to financing would otherwise be restricted. By working in close cooperation with financial institutions, this program will fill gaps in market access and leverage additional lending by private sector institutions.

Canada Emergency Business Account

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.

To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.

Business owners can apply for support from the Canada Emergency Business Account through their banks and credit unions.

More information: https://ceba-cuec.ca/

Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

The Co-Lending Program will bring the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) together with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.

Through the Co-Lending Program, eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program.

Businesses should contact their financial institution to determine whether this program is a good fit for their needs.

Learn more about BDC's programing here: https://www.bdc.ca/en/pages/special-support.aspx?special-initiative=covid19

Farm Credit Canada

To ensure producers, agribusinesses and food processors can remain focused on business-critical functions rather than worrying about how to access funds to keep operating through this challenging period, effective immediately, FCC has put in place:

  • a deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans; or

  • a deferral of principal payments up to 12 months

Learn more here: https://www.fcc-fac.ca/en/covid-19/program-details.html

ACOA

If you are a tourism operator or a small- or medium-sized business or organization and have received RDA funding and COVID-19 is affecting your operations, you are encouraged to contact your local RDA office. Your local RDA office can review your situation and provide guidance.

  • You may be eligible to receive additional funding and/or flexible arrangements.

Further support will be determined on a case-by-case basis as the situation evolves.

 

The Government of Canada has announced that all Regional Development Agencies, including ACOA, will apply a deferral of three months on all payments due to the government, as of April 1, 2020. This moratorium will defer payments and related interest charges to relieve some of the pressure your business may be facing. Your ACOA account managers will work with you to formalize these deferrals into an amended repayment schedule in the coming months to give you more certainty with respect to your payment obligations.

Phone: 1-800-565-1228

Website: https://www.canada.ca/en/atlantic-canada-opportunities/campaigns/covid19.html

 

ACOA's Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

This fund is designed to fill in the gaps of any programs you may not be eligable for. Used as a fund of last resport.

https://www.canada.ca/en/atlantic-canada-opportunities/services/application-for-financial-assistance.html

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers unsecured, forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to:

  • reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants

  •  meet operating expenses on commercial properties

Property owners must offer a minimum of a 75% rent reduction for the months of April, May and June 2020.

More details: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/finance-and-investing/covid19-cecra-small-business

 

Government of Nova Scotia

Small Business Impact Grant

Deffering Payments

Through this new $20-million program, eligible small businesses, non-profits, charities and social enterprises who have had to close or reduce operations because of the public health order may be eligible for a flexible 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.

Applications open 10 April. The deadline to apply is 25 April.

Link: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/Small-Business-Impact-Grant-guidelines.pdf

*This grant is now closed

Government will defer payments until June 30 for all government loans, including those under the Farm Loan Board, Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, Jobs Fund, Nova Scotia Business Fund, Municipal Finance Corp. and Housing Nova Scotia.

Government will defer payments until June 30 for small business renewal fees, including business registration renewal fees and workers compensation premiums.

Changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

Changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, administered through credit unions, include deferring principal and interest payments until June 30, enhancing the program to make it easier for businesses to access credit up to $500,000, and for those who might not qualify for a loan, the government will guarantee the first $100,000.

Small Business Payments

Small businesses which do business with the government will be paid within five days instead of the standard 30 days.

Worker Emergency Fund

The Province is contributing $20 million to help self-employed people and laid-off workers who don’t qualify for Employment Insurance. Government will provide a one-time payment of $1,000 to bridge the gap between layoffs and closures and the federal government’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Nova Scotia Department of Business 

The Nova Scotia government is encouraging landlords to defer rent for business tenants affected by COVID-19. The Nova Scotia Department of Business has created a Rent Deferral Agreement (gross lease) and a Rent Agreement (Net Lease) business owners can use to engage and facilitate conversations with landlords (Instructions).

For more Nova Scotia information please visit: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/#alerts 

 

Private Industry

Nova Scotia Power

Providing options and payment relief

  • If you’re struggling to pay your bill, contact NSP Customer Care team at 1-800-428-6230 or go to https://www.nspower.ca/customer-service. For at least the next 90 days, NSP will not be disconnecting customers for nonpayment. They are also committed to being flexible, relaxing payment timelines, waiving penalties and fees on unpaid bills, and providing options for small business customers

Bell Aliant

Small Business customers with Turbo Hubs, Turbo Sticks and MiFi devices receive an extra 10GB of domestic usage and a $10 credit on their existing plan for the current and next billing cycles.

Commercial Banking

Associations

 

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business is lobbying government on behalf of Indigenous businesses in Canada to ensure our voices are heard. They have collected information targeted toward Indigenous businesses. 

More info: https://www.ccab.com/news/covid-19-updates-information-and-resources/

Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce 

The local chamber of commerce is provide relevant business updates on their website: https://www.annapolisvalleychamber.ca/covid19

For members of the chamber they can be a good resource for local information. They have also developed a "Support Annapolis Valley Amid COVID-19" Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/avcccovid19/

Valley Regional Enterprise Network

The Valley REN has collected relevant information for businesses on thier website: http://www.valleyren.ca/covid-19-information-for-businesses/

They have also prepared a survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in the Annapolis Valley: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SRTR3DC

Canadian Federation of Independent Business

With the emergence of COVID-19, the primary concern at CFIB is keeping you, your employees and your business safe. CFIB will provide you with expert advice to guide you through this difficult time, as well as templates and policies that prevent viral transmission in the workplace. CFIB will also continue putting pressure on governments to give your business greater relief—including direct income support.

Website: https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/advocacy/nova-scotia-covid-19-relief-measures-your-business

Workers Compensation Board of Nova Scotia

WCB Nova Scotia is committed to doing our part to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on Nova Scotians. Working in partnership with the Government of Nova Scotia, we will defer all employer premium payments for three months. Late fees and interest will not be charged until further notice.


This temporary change means that covered employers will not have to worry about paying WCB premiums until July. 

Website: https://www.wcb.ns.ca/About-Us/News-Room/News/Province-of-Nova-Scotia-defers-WCB-employer-premiums-until-July-2020.aspx

Ulnooweg Development Group

Ulnooweg is offering all clients loan deferral with interest relief for the period of April 1 – June 30, 2020. This is done automatically for current clients. It has always been Ulnooweg’s business practice to provide clients with repayment options that best fit their revenue seasons, but now more than ever entrepreneurs require payment flexibility – we are here to help.

Website:

http://www.ulnooweg.ca/covid-19-update/

Looking for resources for your staff? 

902-684-3351

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