COVID-19 Resources

The health and well-being of our Halifax business community is our top priority. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and committed to offering up-to-date information. These resources are here to help you in making informed business decisions.

We are also proactively planning for and leading economic recovery efforts with our private, public and post-secondary partners. As a part of these efforts, we have expanded our business support programs to help companies. Learn more about Halifax's Economic Response and Recovery Plan.

Need help solving a business problem?

Get one-on-one support from an experienced business adviser with our free Virtual Adviser Program.

Are you facing labour shortages?

Get connected with available job seekers to fill your immediate labour gaps. Our Connector team can assist you.

Support for Businesses

The Government of Canada has created a COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period. Under this plan, there are new programs and measures to support Canadian businesses and workers facing hardship as a result of the outbreak.

Access Capital

Both the federal and provincial governments have put policies, programs and initiatives in place to assist small businesses. There is an additional $300 billion in lending capacity by the major banks and the Bank of Canada has cut the interest rate to 0.25%.

Contact your financial institution

They will assess your financial situation to provide tailored, flexible solutions including access to the Canada Emergency Business Account.

Access additional resources

If needed, your financial institution will refer you to Business Development Bank of Canada or Export Development Canada to access the Business Credit Availability Program.

Apply for a loan through a credit union

Get up to a loan of up to $25,000 and a one-time grant of up to $1,500. Plus, $1,500 for advice and support for your businesses through the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program.

Support Your Employees

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

A wage subsidy of up to 75% of salaries for qualifying businesses will be available for up to 3 months. Eligible employers can apply through the Canada Revenue Agency online portal.

Temporary Wage Subsidy

If you do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, your business may qualify for a 10% temporary wage subsidy. You do not need to apply for this subsidy.

Employment Insurance (EI)

The one-week waiting period for EI has been waived. Additionally, a medical certificate for EI sickness benefits is no longer required. Workers can apply online through Service Canada.

Additional Support

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Commercial Rent Deferral

To support small and medium-sized businesses, landlords are encouraged to defer rent payments from their commercial tenants for 3 months. Landlords may be eligible for coverage (up to a maximum of $50,000) if deferred rent can’t be recovered.

Tax Flexibility

The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31st, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before Sept 2020.

HST and Customs Duties Deferral

Businesses, including self-employed individuals, can defer payments of HST until June 30, 2020, as well as customs duty owing on imports. The deferral is for any sales tax payments from March 27 to May 31.

Work-Share Program Extension

The maximum duration of Work-Sharing agreements has been increased from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. The mandatory waiting period has also been waived so that employers may immediately apply for a new agreement.

Farm Credit Canada

Credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector has been increased. An additional $5 billion was announced to increase Farm Credit Canada's lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors.

Navigate Programs

Quickly learn what government support programs your business is eligible for through our simple online survey. We make it easy by asking a few questions then suggest which program(s) you should consider applying for.

Reach out to us

Minder Singh

Senior Account Executive, Commercialization, SmartBusiness Program


Need Support? Our team can help.

Thank you for reaching out. Minder will respond to your request as soon as possible.

Resources from Investors

BDC has created a page with information on how to access their financing programs for entrepreneurs.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency has created a FAQ to assist businesses impacted.

Deloitte has created articles to help businesses prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

RBC's podcast series delivers up-to-date insights on COVID-19 financial and economic developments.

Nova Scotia Power is offering alternative payment options and relief to business customers.

Nova Scotia Business Inc. is offering business support updates and information around COVID-19.

Cox & Palmer has created a legal resource center along with a series of articles to help businesses.

Halifax Chamber of Commerce has created a resource page to help members stay informed.

KPMG is providing a guide to businesses with timely insights from their business leaders.

Innovacorp has curated a list of resources and information for start-ups and entrepreneurs.

EY is offering a variety of informational articles to help with your business planning during COVID-19.

KBRS is offering strategic HR support to help business leaders manage difficult decisions.

NATIONAL is sharing perspectives from their team of crisis communications experts.

BMO Financial Group

BMO has created an online support tool for both business and personal clients to quickly find support.

Halifax Stanfield is monitoring COVID-19 developments and is providing impacts on travel.

Black Business Initiative has five tips for small businesses owners navigating COVID-19.

Nova Scotia Power is prepared for the pandemic and is taking steps to help customers.

Chronicle Herald logo

SaltWire has removed the paywall on all local COVID-19 coverage to ensure accessibility.

Port of Halifax is providing daily operation updates during the pandemic.

The Westin Nova Scotian and NewCastle hotels are open, and have had success with groups quarantining.

Worker's Compensation Board of Nova Scotia has developed free safety resources for businesses.

Halifax Water is extending support to customers in need with payment deferrals and select waived fees.


Canada Emergency Business Account Expansion (May 19)
Eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) has expanded to include more owner-operated small businesses. With CEBA, small businesses can access interest free loans that will help cover operating costs. Learn more >



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