Support for Businesses



Federal Supports

Navigating Federal Supports

The Government of Canada has developed an online tool to help businesses navigate the different federal supports available to businesses.

VIEW ONLINE NAVIGATION TOOL

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

On March 27 the Government of Canada made an announcement with several new supports for Canadian businesses, including the increase of the previously announced 10% wage subsidy to 75%, to be backdated to March 15, 2020. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is designed to allow employers to keep employers on the payroll, or to rehire those who have been laid-off already.

  • To qualify, businesses must be able to show a 30% decline in business compared to the same month(s) last year (March, April, and May). The employer must also be able to demonstrate proof of payroll to determine the wage subsidy for each employee.
  • The wage subsidy will be available for Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, Corporations, Non-Profits, and Charities.
  • Eligibility is not limited by the number of employees or size of businesses. The subsidy will cover up to $58,700 of each employee’s salary, which would provide a weekly subsidy of up to $847 per employee.     
  • Employers will need to confirm that they are doing everything that they can to pay the remaining 25% of the employee’s salary, though paying the remaining 25% is not a requirement for eligibility, however, it is encouraged.      
  • In May it was announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would be extended to August 29, 2020.
  • Applications will be open on April 27.
  • July 2020 Update: The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will be extended to December 2020.

VIEW DETAILS ON THE CANADA EMERGENCY WAGE SUBSIDY

When applying for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), you will be asked to enter amounts such as the number of eligible employees and gross payroll. To get ready, you can determine these amounts and preview your subsidy claim based on the information you enter. The below CEWS calculator is a tool to help you estimate the amount of your wage subsidy.

VIEW THE CALCULATOR

Organizations that do not qualify for the above 75% Wage Subsidy may qualify for the previously announced 10% Wage Subsidy. Eligible employers must meet the following criteria:

  • are:
    • an individual (excluding trusts),
    • a partnership (see note below),
    • a non-profit organization,
    • a registered charity, or
    • a 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.

VIEW FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE 10% WAGE SUBSIDY

CRA Small Business Liaison Officers

The Canada Revenue Agency is adapting its Liaison Officer service to support small businesses and self-employed individuals during COVID-19. Liaison Officers will be available exclusively by phone to provide the key information that small businesses and self-employed individuals need most urgently, including filing and payment deadlines and proactive relief measures.

COMPLETE LIAISON REQUEST FORM

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

The Government of Canada has announced the $962 million Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to address gaps left by other support measures. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Atlantic Association of Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) are distributing the RRRF in Atlantic Canada, which will include just over $110 million to be allocated in the region:

  • $66.75 million through ACOA to support:
    • Small and medium-sized businesses that provide products and services to other businesses; and
    • Organizations that provide support services to businesses.
  • $43.3 million through the Atlantic Association of CBDCs to support main street businesses such as restaurants and retailers in small, rural and remote communities across the region.

The RRRF is complementary to existing federal programs, you must first apply for other federal support measures such as the Canada Emergency Business Account benefit, the Wage Subsidy benefit and the Commercial Rent assistance for small businesses, among others.

VIEW DETAILS

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)

The Government of Canada is offering bridge financing for big Canadian businesses across all sectors through the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF). The following details are available:

  • Will provide support to eligible employers with annual revenues of more than $300 million;
  • Open to large commercial businesses in all sectors, except those in the financial sector, as well as certain not-for-profit businesses like airports that have revenues of $300 million or more a year;
  • Eligible businesses must be looking for financing of $60 million or more, have significant operations or workforce in Canada, and not be involved in ongoing insolvency proceedings. 

VIEW ANNOUNCEMENT

Support for Women Entrepreneurs

The Government of Canada has announced that it will provide $15 million in additional funding to support women entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). This money will go directly to select organizations that are currently WES Ecosystem Fund recipients and will help women entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic.

VIEW THE ANNOUNCEMENT

Indigenous Business Loans

The Government of Canada has announced up to $306.8 million in funding to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offer financing to these businesses. The funding will allow for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses. These measures will help 6,000 Indigenous-owned businesses get through these difficult times.

VIEW THE ANNOUNCEMENT

Work-Sharing Program

The Government of Canada introduced temporary special measures that extend the maximum duration of Work-Sharing agreements from 38 weeks to 76 weeks across Canada for those businesses affected by the downturn in business due to COVID-19 and for the forestry and steel and aluminum sector. Businesses should access the Work-Sharing temporary special measures page for eligibility.

VIEW ELIGIBILITY DETAILS

Canada Summer Jobs Program

The Canada Summer Jobs Program provides opportunities for youth to develop and improve their skills within the not-for-profit, small business, and public sectors, and supports the delivery of key community services.
The federal government is making temporary changes to the program to allow employers to:

  • receive an increased wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee;
  • extend the end date for employment to February 28, 2021;
  • adapt their projects and job activities;
  • hire staff on a part-time basis.

VIEW DETAILS

Student Work Placement Program

In response to the current challenges, ESDC will introduced the following changes to the Canada Student Work Placement Program:

  • Employers will have the flexibility to postpone placement start dates to avoid rescinding placements. Employers will be able to apply for funding before they finalize their selection of students to hire.
  • Small and medium sized employers (who have fewer than 500 employees) and non-profit organizations will be able to use wage subsidies up-front when there is an operational cash flow need.
  • Students will be able to work from home.
  • Post-secondary institutions (universities, colleges and polytechnics) will be able to be the employer of record to offer meaningful placements to students.

VIEW DETAILS

Emergency Community Support Fund

The Government of Canada has announced $350 million in emergency funds for community groups and national charities that help seniors, the homeless and others made more vulnerable by the pandemic. The funds will support such activities as:

  • Volunteer-based home delivery of groceries and medications.
  • Transportation services, such as those driving seniors or persons with disabilities to appointments.
  • Scaling up help lines that provide information and support.
  • Helping vulnerable Canadians access government benefits.
  • Delivering training and supplies to volunteers.
  • Replacing in-person, one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through telephone, texts, teleconferences or the Internet.

VIEW ANNOUNCEMENT

Government of Canada Business Supports

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadian businesses facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the Government has announced and compiled a number of supports for Canadian businesses.

VIEW SUPPORTS

Provincial Supports

Atlantic Travel Bubble

As of July 3, people will be able to travel freely between the four Atlantic Provinces (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick) without the need to self-isolate. All visitors will still be expected to adhere to social distancing and other health protocols as per each province’s required rules, and each province has specific rules that dictate how travellers can enter their province. See below for each province’s rules:

NOVA SCOTIA ATLANTIC BUBBLE RULES

NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR ATLANTIC BUBBLE RULES

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND ATLANTIC BUBBLE RULES

NEW BRUNSWICK ATLANTIC BUBBLE RULES

Province of Nova Scotia: Planning to Reopen

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. The Province of Nova Scotia has developed an online portal to provide information that businesses and individuals can use to prepare as the province moves toward re-opening and easing restrictions.

The online portal includes information for:

  • Businesses and organizations required to close;
  • Businesses and organizations not required to close;
  • Employees;
  • Keeping workplaces safe; and
  • Keeping customers safe.

VIEW ONLINE PORTAL

The Province of Nova Scotia has announced the next steps toward reopening the province. Effective June 5, most businesses required to close under the public health order can reopen. Businesses must follow protocols in the plan that is tailored to their sector. This includes following public health protocols to ensure physical distancing, increased cleaning and other protective measures for staff and customers.

The following can open if they are ready and choose to do so:

  • restaurants for dine-in, as well as takeout and delivery
  • bars, wineries, distilleries and taprooms
  • lounges are not permitted to reopen at this time
  • personal services, such as hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments
  • fitness facilities, such as gyms, yoga studios and climbing facilities
  • veterinarians

Other health providers can also reopen on June 5, provided they follow protocols in their colleges’ and associations’ plans, as approved by public health. These include:

  • dentistry and other self-regulated health professions such as optometry, chiropractic and physiotherapy
  • unregulated health professions such as massage therapy, podiatry and naturopathy

Existing public health directives around physical distancing and gathering limits remain in place. People must keep two metres apart and not gather in groups of more than five.

VIEW ANNOUNCEMENT

Small Business Reopening and Support Grant

Eligible businesses, non-profits, charities and social enterprises will be able to access the new Small Business Reopening and Support Grant, a $25 million fund that will provide grants to help them open safely and business continuity vouchers for advice and support to become more resilient in the coming months.

The Small Business Reopening and Support Grant provides funding for small businesses, non-profits, charities and social enterprises that were ordered to close or greatly reduce operations because of the Public Health Order or were greatly impacted by orders to stay home.

The program helps small businesses affected by COVID-19 by providing a grant and a business continuity voucher for advice and services from a business consultant. Funding includes a:

  • one-time grant of up to $5,000 to help your business safely reopen
  • business continuity voucher of up to $1,500 for advice and services to help your business adapt to and become more resilient in a COVID-19 world

The grant is intended to help businesses reopen and adapt to COVID-19, not to replace lost revenues.

July 2020 Update: The application deadline for the Small Business Reopening and Support Grant has been extended to Friday, July 17. To date, the program has supported over 3,200 small Nova Scotia business across the province to safely reopen, with grants of up to $5,000 totaling more than $9.7 million.

VIEW DETAILS

The Province of Nova Scotia has made a number of announcements to help Nova Scotia businesses as they deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • Government loan payments deferral — until June 30, 2020
    • Includes loans under the Farm Loan Board, Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, Jobs Fund, Nova Scotia Business Fund, Municipal Finance Corp. and Housing Nova Scotia.
  • Small business fees deferral — until June 30, 2020
    • Includes business renewal fees and workers compensation premiums (a complete list of fees will be posted in the coming days).
  • Small Business Loan Guarantee Program payments deferral — until June 30, 2020
    • Deferring principal and interest payments and enhancing the program to make it easier for businesses to access credit up to $500,000. For those who might not qualify for a loan, government will guarantee the first $100,000.
  • Faster payments to small business
    • Small businesses which do business with the Province of Nova Scotia to be paid within five days of invoicing.
  • Internet access
    • Additional $15 million as an incentive to providers to speed up projects under the “Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative” to projects as soon as possible.

VIEW SUPPORTS

Province Invests in New Businesses, Innovation

The province is investing $750,000 to help startup 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. $100,000 of 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.

VIEW ANNOUNCEMENT

NSCC: Business support during COVID-19

The Nova Scotia Community College is leveraging their experience working with small and medium size businesses, social enterprises, not-for-profits and a network of provincial partners to connect you with the resources you need. Their team of Community Innovation Leads located across the province will:

  • Work with businesses to understand their business needs
  • Consolidate information to help businesses make sense of available supports
  • Connect businesses to the right organization, federal or provincial funding program or training opportunity

VIEW MORE DETAILS OR SUBMIT A REQUEST

Nova Scotia Business Inc.

Nova Scotia Business Inc. is taking applications for the Productivity Innovation Voucher Program. The program helps small and medium sized companies access direct assistance to help make their business more productive and innovative. The program helps businesses find expertise within post-secondary institutions to improve productivity, develop a new product, service, or process, and create growth.

VIEW MORE DETAILS

Nova Scotia Business Inc. has also developed a form and tool to connect businesses with independent consultants across the province to address your immediate business challenges as a result of COVID-19 and beyond.

VIEW MORE DETAILS

NS Business Navigators

Nova Scotia Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness Business Navigators are available to help businesses with any questions you may have. They can be reached Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm at 1-844-628-7347, or by email at BusNavigation@novascotia.ca.

LEARN MORE ABOUT NS BUSINESS NAVIGATORS

Nova Scotia Works

Nova Scotia Works Centres are very much operational and available to provide services to Cape Breton Employers and Job Seekers through virtual platforms.

VIEW NOVA SCOTIA WORKS CONTACTS


Other Supports

Women in Business Implementation Fund

The Centre for Women in Business has launched the Women in Business Implementation Fund (WiBIF) to assist women entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia to access business supports to navigate COVID-19. The funds will help source supports for small-scale projects related to business operations, business transformations, and recovery measures. The WiBIF will be used to support at least 30 women business owners in Nova Scotia. 

This initiative is supported by the Government of Canada through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). Applications will be available from July 13 – September 15, 2020 or until the funds are fully spent. 

VIEW DETAILS

Reopening Canada’s Economy: A National Guide for Business

As businesses prepare to reopen or revamp their operations amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are numerous issues and challenges to consider. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Canadian Business Resilience Network has developed a toolkit designed to provide guidance, or access to guidance, for business owners and senior managers responsible for re-establishing their operations while ensuring the health and safety of operators, staff, customers and the general public is at the forefront.

VIEW TOOLKIT

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Canadian Business Resilience Network has also developed a collection of rules and regulations that are in place according to federal and provincial/territorial jurisdictions. Information includes when and which businesses are allowed to open, an array of health and safety measures, social distancing standards, occupancy limits and more.

VIEW CBRN REGULATION TRACKER

Road to Retail Recovery Playbook

The Retail Council of Canada has developed a Road to Retail Recovery Playbook document to provide members with a perspective on global practices from retailers around the world on operating their business during the COVID-19 pandemic. These materials were compiled through a scan of practices observed from companies in countries that have started to emerge from the government-imposed restrictions on the essential, non-essential and restaurant sectors. These materials are intended to provide retailers with a framework for key considerations and relevant global practices as they operate businesses in today’s challenging environment.

These are not intended to be legal advice or to replace local health and government guidelines. The COVID-19 crisis is rapidly evolving and there are different considerations for retailers in different regions and sub-sectors of the retail industry. Readers should consult the applicable laws & regulations, and guidelines issued by federal & provincial health and labour authorities, to make the best decisions for their respective businesses.

VIEW ROAD TO RETAIL RECOVERY PLAYBOOK

VIEW RETAIL RECOVERY CHECKLIST TEMPLATES

Reopening Best Practices for Restaurants

Informed by lessons learned from those operating during the pandemic so far, Restaurants Canada has developed a Reopening Best Practices document to provide information that restaurants and similar establishments can implement to comply with requirements from government in Physical Distancing, Cleaning and Sanitation, and Health & Personal Hygiene.

VIEW BEST PRACTICES DOCUMENT

Open for Business

A number of active forums have been created by local organizations to showcase and provide information on businesses that remain open and/or offering delivery, promoting their products and services and letting the public know what their current open-status and details are. Businesses interested in participating in these forums are encouraged to visit each of the following resources:

DESTINATION CAPE BRETON – CAPE BRETON TAKEOUT AND DELIVERY

STRAIT AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE – BUSINESSES THAT DELIVER SOUTHERN CAPE BRETON

STRAIT AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE – BUSINESSES THAT DELIVER NORTHERN CAPE BRETON

CABE BRETON REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE – OPEN FOR BUSINESS IN THE CBRM

HUDDLE TODAY – OPEN FOR BUSINESS IN THE QUAD COUNTIES EASTERN MAINLAND AND WESTERN CAPE BRETON

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has created a guide to help businesses prepare for, and manage through, a potential COVID-19 escalation in Canada.

DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE

CFIB FAQ

The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses has compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help small business owners prepare for a potential crisis.

READ THE FAQ