COVID-19 Resources for Business

Need an explanation of current government programs to support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic? View this Town Hall with all levels of government.

UPDATE ON GOVERNMENT SUPPORT PROGRAMS FOR BUSINESSES

Federal government announces rent assistance program details
The Government of Canada announced that the federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.
 
Further details on the program are below: 
The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.

  • The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent.
  • Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations. 

Provincial government adds Nova Scotia Credit Support Program

The province announced the COVID-19 Small Business Credit and Support Program as a temporary stream for access to credit, cash grants and support delivered from Chamber affinity partner CUA and participating credit unions. The program will be available starting Wednesday, April 29.

The program will provide eligible applicants a maximum loan amount of $25,000 and upon approval businesses will receive a grant of up to $1,500. There will also be a business continuity voucher of up to $1,500 to help hire a private consultant for advice. Loans may be granted for a term of up to 10 years and lines of credit for up to seven years with an interest rate of prime + 3.35%. 

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. The Halifax Chamber believes this should assist sole-proprietors or small business owners that receive dividends as income. The program will be available until June 30.

Quick Facts:

  • 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 in adapting or recovering from the impacts of COVID-19. The Voucher Program will be open until May 29, 2020 and all projects funded under the Voucher Program must be completed by July 3, 2020.
  • Have not applied or received a loan through CEBA
  • Be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, co-operative, society, social enterprise, not for profit, charity in business, and other similar organizations.


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 programs available from post-secondary institutions and other regional organizations. It will be available in early May, but you can get start getting answers now by emailing business@nscc.ca or visiting www.nscc.ca/businesssupport

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Provincial website: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/
Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus
Government of Canada toll-free information line 1-833-784-4397
Government Business Navigators:  More information on this service is available https://novascotia.ca/regulatoryopportunity/business-navigators.asp. Navigators are available by calling or 1-844-628-7347 , 902-424-4475 Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm or by email BusNavigation@novascotia.ca

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