COVID-19 Resources

This is an unprecedented time in the world and our business community.

The health and well-being of our Halifax business community is our top priority. We are monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and are committed to offering up-to-date information. These resources are meant to support you in making informed decisions for your business and will be updated as information becomes available.


Continuing Operations

Need clarity on how your business needs to comply with the Province’s Public Health Order? Wondering whether or not your organization can stay open? An easy-to-use assessment tool is available to determine if you may remain open, in compliance with current workplace safety requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How do the regulations on gatherings impact my business?
If your business has not been subject to closures or limitations in the Health Protection Act Order, you may continue to operate with employees. If your business will continue to operate with more than 5 employees, you must apply social-distancing measures (2 metres or 6 feet from others). See Public Health Orders & Direction.

How do I maintain a clean and safe environment for my business?
Read about COVID-19 hygiene best practices: COVID-19 Business Fact Sheet


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 Financial Support

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%. Looking to access direct lending and other types of financial support?

Contact your financial institution

They will assess your financial situation to provide tailored, flexible solutions. Canada's biggest banks have made a commitment to work closely with small business on a case-by-case basis.

Access additional resources

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

Support Your Employees

Temporary Wage Subsidy

A temporary wage subsidy of up to 75% for qualifying businesses will be available for up to 3 months. More details on will be shared when they become available. Learn about the previous 10% subsidy below.

Employment Insurance

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

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

A taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months will be available for workers facing unemployment due to COVID-19. The web portal to apply to the CERB will open April 6, 2020.

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.

Work-Share Program

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.


Resources from Investors

Our investor community has stepped up and many are offering resources to support companies with business management, legal, human resources, and more.

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

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.

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

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

Stewart McKelvey offers thought leadership articles to help businesses navigate around uncertainty.

MNP's Business Advice Centre offers information on government and tax alerts, business relief.

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

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.

CBRE is providing insights and expertise on the implications of COVID-19 for the real estate industry.

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

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

News from the Halifax Business Community

  • Halifax Water

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Halifax Water is offering deferred payments and has paused interest charges on overdue accounts until July 31st.

    Read more
  • Halifax Stanfield

    New domestic travel measures have come into effect and Halifax Stanfield International Airport remains in operation to safely facilitate essential travel. The Halifax International Airport Authority continues to monitor COVID-19 developments.

    Read more
  • Nova Scotia Power

    Nova Scotia Power is committed to providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity. They are prepared for the coronavirus pandemic and are taking steps to help customers. Find out what measures are being taken as part of their contingency plan.

    Read more
  • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

    The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is closely monitoring the COVID-19 global challenge and the potential impact it could have on your business and your workers, as well as the broader economy. A FAQ has been created to assist businesses impacted.

    Read more
  • Port of Halifax

    The Port of Halifax is providing daily operation updates during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are working diligently with partners to sustain the ongoing movement of trade through Halifax’s international gateway.

    Read more
  • SaltWire

    SaltWire has adapted their operations and removed the paywall on all local COVID-19 coverage, ensuring accessibility of information to the public. They intend to keep their COVID-19 coverage open to all for as long as it is needed.

    Read more
 

Announcements

Government of Canada Announces Additional Support for Canadian Businesses (March 27, 2020)
Changes to the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan have been announced including: increasing the temporary wage subsidy to 75%, allowing businesses to defer all GST and HST payments, and launching the new Canada Emergency Business Account. Read more >

Province of Nova Scotia Announces Measure to Help Businesses (March 20, 2020)
Small business fees, government loan payments, and Small Business Loan Guarantee Program payments have all been deferred until June 30, 2020. Also, if you currently do business with the Province of Nova Scotia, you'll get faster payments. Learn More >

Reach out to us

Minder Singh

Senior Account Executive, Commercialization, SmartBusiness Program

902-240-4959

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