Covid-19 Business Resources

We’re here to support you

The Cape Breton Regional Chamber of Commerce is closely monitoring and assessing new developments pertaining to COVID-19, as well as its impacts on our local business community. As business owners, employers, employees, and citizens, we recognize that this rapidly changing situation with COVID-19 is causing worry and concern.

We fully recognize that we are living in extraordinary times where extraordinary measures are being taken as a province and as a nation. It’s a difficult time for all of us as we try to navigate what’s best for the health and wellbeing of our businesses, communities, loved ones and ourselves.

To support you through this uncertainty, we have gathered and prepared several resources below.

  1. WORKPLACE RAPID TESTING

    Any business or organization that is interested in offering COVID-19 screening for employees is invited to participate, regardless of size. You need to complete one of the forms below to start the process to set up the program for your business or organization. After you submit the form, it should take up to 2 business days to receive information about the next steps. Support will also be provided to help you develop a testing plan, provide free rapid antigen tests, and training.

    ONLINE FORMS

    Workplaces with less than 50 employees
    Workplaces with 50+ employees

    COVID-19 screening (asymptomatic rapid testing) for businesses and organizations is an important part of Nova Scotia’s testing approach. As Nova Scotia moves through the reopening plan, workplace testing helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces.

    The Province of Nova Scotia has also developed some FAQ pages to assist you with the process. You can access those here:

    You still have an opportunity to partake in the first Nova Scotia Cohort. Registration for the first cohort will continue until June 22; after this date, you will be onboarded at a later date in the second cohort (TBD).

    What will be required of you after registration? 

    • Attend onboarding sessions online
    • Design screening site plan (essential resources will be provided after registration)
    • Order screens through your REN or Chamber via the screen order form
    • Maintain data through applications provided to you
    • Access essential resources online (including online drop-in office hours)
    • Attend operations meetings to provide updates and ask questions

    Please contact our Communications and Member Relations Coordinator, Erica Holgate, with any questions you may have regarding the application or process at [email protected].

  2. Upcoming Webinars

    COVID-19 Employee Vaccine Policy Framework

    Date: June 15
    Time: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM AST
    Cost: Free

    Join members of MC Advisory, a strategic advisory service for business and public sector, for an engaging discussion with practical insights on the key issues that employers need to think about in creating workplace policies related to COVID-19.

    You will leave this session with an understanding of the framework that guides employers in creating workplace policies, ‘where to start’ in policy development, and why all businesses and sectors should begin thinking about implementing a vaccination and related policies now to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19.

    This webinar will ensure Halifax Chamber members and the business community has the knowledge and practical advice to protect their employees and customers by implementing a vaccination policy that suits their needs.

    Register today and submit your question to the experts!

    Hosted By: Halifax Chamber of Commerce


    Policy Matters

    Date: June 15
    Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM AST
    Cost: Free

    Achieving net-zero by 2050 will be key to the world’s efforts to limit global warming to a 1.5 degree global temperature increase; a change in temperature that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has identified as the least disruptive to ecosystems and human societies.

    While Canada’s ambition to reach net-zero is clear, our pathway to get there is not. Not only will achieving this ambition require significant technological innovation and capital investment, but, especially for resource producing nations like Canada, it will depend on a clear global policy regime that allows corporations and governments to access global offsets.

    This discussion will focus on Canada’s current approach to net-zero, its policy frameworks and how these frameworks square with the efforts of Canada’s business community. In addition, the session will provide a deeper dive into what net-zero policy could mean for Canada, especially our resource sector. While no prior knowledge is required of those who attend, participants are invited to check out the recent International Energy Agency’s report on net-zero and the analysis of this report by Dr. Monica Gattinger.

    Hosted By: Canadian Chamber of Commerce & SalesForce


    Working Together for Community Recovery, with Suncor

    Date: June 16
    Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM AST
    Cost: Free

    As Canadian communities emerge from the pandemic, businesses have a role to play in working alongside community leaders and organizations to revive local economies and help citizens reconnect. What are the opportunities for businesses and communities to come together to address the impacts of the pandemic, recover and build a stronger Canada?

    Join leaders from Suncor and the Suncor Energy Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada and the Mikisew Group of Companies to hear their reflections on how they worked with communities and businesses during the pandemic response, what they learned and a discussion about the opportunities ahead.

    Suncor is Canada’s leading integrated energy company, with operations in oil sands development and upgrading, offshore oil and gas production petroleum refining and product marketing under the Petro-Canada brand. Suncor is working to responsibly develop petroleum resources while also growing a renewable energy portfolio.

    Hosted By: Canadian Chamber of Commerce & SalesForce


    Future of the Canada – U.S. Border

    Date: June 22
    Time: 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm EST
    Cost: Free

    As associations representing companies of all sizes across all sectors operating on both sides of the border, AmCham Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce have a deep interest in the efficient operations of the Canada-US border.

    Join AmCham Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce for a dialogue with the Canadian Border Services Agency and US Customs and Border Protection for a conversation with business executives on the post-pandemic future of the border as it relates to trusted trader and trusted traveller programs. The government-industry dialogue will:

    Enable businesses to hear from governments on their forward looking priorities for border programs and policies impact companies.

    Provide Canadian and American government officials an opportunity to hear from companies on the key border issues affecting them.

    Panelists:

    Fred Gaspar – Director General, Commercial Programs, CBSA
    Andrew Lawrence – A/Director General, CBSA
    Manny Garza – Director, C-TPAT & Trusted Trade Partnership Division, CBP
    Matt Davies – Executive Director, Admissibility and Passenger Programs, Office of Field Operations, CBP
    Candace Sider, Vice President Government and Regulatory Affairs North America, Livingston International Inc.
    Tammy Bilodeau, Vice President Customs Brokerage, UPS Canada

    Hosted By: The Canadian Chamber of Commerce


    Women in Business Summit – Empowering an Inclusive Recovery

    Date: June 23
    Time: Day Long Event

    The Summit is designed to give the Canadian business community and women, themselves, the inspiration and the tools to take action. The insights gleaned through this event will help inform the ongoing work of our Council for Women’s Advocacy and our National Inclusive Growth Campaign in advancing a gender-inclusive recovery and driving meaningful action to ensure the full participation of women in the workforce.

    Join us for a day of panel discussions, candid session and spotlights that will harness the creativity of influencers, entrepreneurs, and business and community leaders in sharing and exploring the issues and opportunities that will both keep women in the workforce and further their advancement.

    Hosted By: Canadian Chamber of Commerce & SalesForce

    Person Directed Planning Virtual Meeting

    Date: June 24
    Time: 10:00 AM AST
    Cost: Free

    Breton Ability Centre is excited to announce that Breton Ability Centre’s Person Directed Planning Program, will host a live webinar at 10 AM AST on ThursdayJune 24th. Hosted by David Farmer and Emma McQuade, this webinar will briefly review our past March webinar, and as well, provide current information updates related to the program, and also showcase the planning tools we are currently using.

    We encourage you to share and forward this in your networks to help bring more awareness to supporting individuals with varying abilities and mental health struggles through a person-directed approach.

    Hosted By: Breton Ability Centre


    Canadian Survey on Business Conditions Discussion

    Date: June 25
    Time: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EST
    Cost: Free

    The Canadian Chamber has produced business insights throughout the pandemic in collaboration with Deloitte Canada. Both organizations will present their analysis of the Q2 results of the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions – an innovative Statistics Canada product of over 15,000 Canadian employers.

    Join us to explore new insights and learn more about the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions from Statistics Canada.

    Speakers:

    • Nathalie Brault, Director, Centre for Special Projects, Statistics Canada

    • Trevin Stratton, Chief Economist & SVP of Policy, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

    • Jean Dauvin, Senior Manager, Monitor Deloitte

    Hosted By: Canadian Chamber of Commerce


    Getting to Net Zero: Opportunities for SME Business Sector Leadership

    Date: June 30
    Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm AST
    Cost: Free

    This webinar is presented by Climate Smart Training Facilitator, Maureen Cureton, and will focus on how the SME sector is finding profitable ways to prepare for and participate in the low-carbon economy.

    Around the world scientists, governments and businesses agree that action must be taken to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 and to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Today, more than 400 cities and states or provinces have set net zero targets for their greenhouse gas emissions, and more than 1000 companies around the world have set net zero targets.

    Leading investment companies like Blackrock, and institutional investors are also committing to transitioning their investment portfolios to net zero emissions by 2050. They recognize this as both a responsibility and an opportunity, and indeed according to Mark Carney, the “transition to net zero emissions is “the greatest commercial opportunity of our age.”

    Given that SMEs small-to-medium size enterprises (SMEs) represent 92% of Canadian businesses, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce recognizes the significant business, economic and environmental impact potential of helping more SMEs become climate leaders, reduce transition risk and future-proof their businesses.

    Topics to be discussed:

    • SME sector role in climate leadership action in Canada; Climate Smart businesses. –
    • What’s driving businesses towards carbon neutrality and measuring their carbon footprint?
    • How do businesses measure & manage their carbon footprint?
    • What should I measure and why? International standards, climate accounting protocol and process.
    • What are examples of SMEs that are finding innovative and profitable ways to demonstrate climate leadership (using Chamber member examples: e.g. The Musket, John Brooks, Platinum Pro).
    • What’s “net zero”? What does it mean to achieve net zero carbon emissions?
    • Who’s pursing it (business and governments) and why it’s important.
    • Carbon offsets – part of the net zero solution.

    Hosted By: Canadian Chamber of Commerce & Climate Smart

  3. This list will be updated regularly. If you supply PPE products locally and you are not on this list, please contact Melissa at [email protected] to submit your information.

    CAPE BRETON GLASS

    19 Mitchell St, Sydney
    (902) 562-2817
    [email protected]

    Offering: Plexiglass barriers.

    CHANDLER

    50 Brookland St., Sydney
    902-562-3500
    [email protected]

    Offering: disposable face masks, face shields, general-purpose cleaners & disinfectants, gloves, hand sanitizer, soaps, touchless dispensers for hand sanitizer & paper towel, and victory disinfectant sprayer which covers large areas with less effort.

    CITY PRINT +

    180 Townsend St, Sydney
    (902) 564-8245
    [email protected]

    Offering: Face masks, hand sanitizer and signage.

    CONNORS BASICS

    350 Charlotte Street, Sydney
    (902) 562-7900
    mailto:[email protected]

    Offering: Disinfectant cleaners, face masks, face shields, gloves, hand sanitizer, hand soap and signage.

    D3 DESIGN & INNOVATION

    (902) 322-4281
    [email protected]

    Offering: Face shields, mask ear protection and keys.

    FULLY PROMOTED CAPE BRETON

    Keltic Plaza, 33 Keltic Dr, Sydney
    (902) 270-3930
    [email protected]

    Offering: Face masks, face shields, sanitizer, sanitizer wipes, plexiglass barriers and signage.

    ISLAND AUTO GLASS & TRIM LTD.

    86 Reeves St, Sydney
    (902) 539-0436
    [email protected]

    Offering: Plexiglass barriers.

    JOY JEWELERS

    Keltic Plaza, 9 Keltic Dr, Sydney
    (902) 539-5580
    [email protected]

    Offering: Plexiglass barriers.

    J.R. MAHONY LTD.

    1810 Kings Rd, Sydney
    (902) 564-6296
    [email protected]

    Offering: Disposable masks, hand sanitizer and surface disinfectant.

    KELTIC GROUP LTD.

    70 Dodd St, Sydney
    (902) 539-6006

    Offering: 4L bottle dispenser, deluxe Pulse Oximeter, disinfectant, disposable face masks, disposable protective gown, gloves, goggles, hand sanitizer, isolation gown, isolated medical protective gown and medical caps.

    LYNK PRINTING SERVICE LTD.

    79 Tillock Dr, Sydney
    (902) 564-8334
    [email protected]

    Offering: Signage.

    MACRAE HOME HARDWARE

    9 Blowers St, North Sydney
    (902) 794-4711

    Offering: Disposable face masks, face shields, gloves, hand sanitizer, reusable face masks, and spray cleaners.

    MARITIME SAFETY EQUIPMENT

    32 West Ave, Glace Bay
    902-849-6641
    [email protected]

    Offering: Concentrated disinfectant, digital infrared thermometers, disposable gloves, face masks, face shields, hand sanitizer and hand sanitizer stations.

    PROTOCASE

    46 Wabana Ct, Sydney
    (902) 567-3335 EXT 425
    [email protected]

    Offering: Face shields.

    SAMS AUTOGLASS

    92 King St, North Sydney
    (902) 794-3646

    Offering: Plexiglass barriers.

    SEABOARD INDUSTRIAL SUPPLY CO LTD.

    15 School St, Sydney
    (902) 564-0400
    [email protected]

    Offering: Digital forehead thermometer, disinfectant, face masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, goggles, and gloves.

    SOURCE ATLANTIC

    20 Wabana Ct, Sydney
    (902) 567-3030

    Offering: Disposable bibs, disposable face masks, disposable overalls, face shields, general-purpose cleaners and disinfectants, gloves, hand sanitizer, KN95 masks, respirators, soaps, and touchless dispensers for hand sanitizer and paper towel.

    STAPLES

    80 Grand Lake Road Unit 805, Sydney
    (902) 539-4027
    Visit https://www.staplescopyandprint.ca/ or the store to place an order

    Offering: Face shields, plexiglass barriers, signage.

    VANGO SIGNS

    (902) 371-4054
    [email protected]

    Offering: Health protocols, physical distancing, other signage including indoor/outdoor signs, customizable floor, wall/counter and window decals.

  4. NOVA SCOTIA GRADUALLY REOPENING FOR SUMMER

    Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, announced on May 28 that the province would reopen gradually under a five-phase plan.

    The first phase will begin on June 2 at 8 am.  

    To view the 5-Phase plan click here.

    Each phase has a general timeframe of about two to four weeks, depending on COVID-19 activity in the province, testing capacity, and hospitalization and vaccination rates.

    Please visit the Nova Scotia Coronavirus Re-Opening Plan Site for more information.

    MANDATORY MASKS IN ALL INDOOR PUBLIC PLACES

    On July 31st, 2021 the province announced non-medical masks must be worn in indoor public places.

    Indoor public places include:

    • Retail businesses
    • Shopping centres
    • Personal services businesses such as hair and nail salons, spas, body art facilities, except during services that require removing a mask
    • Restaurants and bars, except while people are eating or drinking
    • Places of worship or faith gatherings
    • Places for cultural or entertainment services or activities such as movie theatres, concerts and other performances
    • Places for sports and recreational activities such as a gym, pool or indoor tennis facility, except while doing an activity where a mask cannot be worn
    • Places for events such as conferences and receptions
    • Municipal or provincial government locations offering services to the public
    • Common areas of tourist accommodations such as lobbies, elevators and hallways
    • Common areas of office buildings such as lobbies, elevators and hallways, but not private offices
    • Public areas of a university or college campus, such as a library or student union building, but not classrooms, labs, offices or residences
    • Train or bus stations, ferry terminals and airports

    For more information, visit the Nova Scotia Government website here.

    For a list of businesses offering PPE including masks, check out our PPE information section above.


    COVID-19 PREVENTION PLAN

    All businesses and organizations that were originally ordered to close are required to create a “COVID-19 Prevention Plan”. While Businesses that were allowed to remain open are not required to create the Prevention Plan, it is recommended.

    Businesses and organizations that are a member of an association or college can adopt a sector-specific plan as their Workplace COVID-19 Prevention Plan. Plans must address the following public health protocols:

    • Social distancing in the workplace for both employees and customers
    • The number of customers
    • How to work and interact with customers
    • Cleaning
    • Equipment
    • Preparing employees to return to work
    • Preparing for customers or clients
    • Monitoring and communicating of the plan

    Information on how to develop these plans can be found here.

    Businesses and organizations should contact their association to learn what they need to do to reopen safely.

    Public Health is meeting with industry associations to share public health principles and provide information to help them develop their plans.

    Businesses should also ensure they have the proper PPE. We have compiled a list of local businesses offering PPE within the CBRM. We are updating this list regularly. Please see the section titled PPE Information above.

    All businesses and organizations must share their plans with employees and have it available if requested. They also need to provide their plans to provincial inspectors if asked.


    KEEPING CUSTOMERS & EMPLOYEES SAFE

    Businesses and customers must work together in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    Besides social distancing procedures, businesses and organizations can ask customers and employees to follow additional health and safety measures. Additional safety measures may include asking customers to wear a face mask or to follow signage on what direction to walk in and where to stand when in an establishment.

    It is important for businesses to share their safety measures and procedures with the public in a clear and concise way.

    Additional information on keeping customers and employees safe has been provided by the Government can be found here.

    Businesses should make sure they are keeping their establishments clean. It is recommended that workspaces be cleaned and disinfected a minimum of twice a day or as required. Pay attention to high-touch areas such as doorknobs, light switches, and railings. For more information on cleaning and how to properly clean, please click here.

    Businesses should assess workplace hazards that could harm employees during the COVID-19 pandemic and know how to prevent and eliminate any hazards that are found. Please visit the Nova Scotia Occupation Health & Safety page here.


    EMPLOYEE SUPPORT & RIGHTS

    Anyone who has travelled outside of Nova Scotia is required to self-isolate for 14 days from the day they return to the province, regardless of if they have symptoms or not. Employees are not required to give an employer a doctor’s note if they must be off work for this reason.

    If employees have questions about taking leave or being laid off, please contact the Labour Standards Division at 1-888-315-0110.

    If an employee has safety concerns about their working conditions, they should talk to their supervisor. If the safety concern is not resolved, they should contact their Occupation Health and Safety Committee or safety representative. If neither of those options help, employees can call the Safety Branch at 1-800-952-2687 or email [email protected].

    For more information on Employee Safety please visit the Nova Scotia Government Website here.


    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

    Employee Rights & ResponsibilitiesA resource from the Government of Canada

    Nova Scotia OHS Hazards A resource from the Government of Canada

    Working Safely By Industry A resource from Work Safe For Life

    COVID-19 Fact Sheets & PostersA resource from the Government of Nova Scotia

  5. CANADA SMALL BUSINESS FINANCING PROGRAM

    The Canada Small Business Financing Program makes it easier for small businesses to get loans from financial institutions by sharing the risk with lenders. Up to a maximum of $1,000,000 for anyone borrower, of which no more than $350,000 can be used for purchasing leasehold improvements or improving the leased property and purchasing or improving new or used equipment. Financial institutions deliver the program and are solely responsible for approving the loan.

    Who is Eligible?

    Small businesses or start-ups operating for profit in Canada, with gross annual revenues of $10 million or less. Not eligible under this program are farming businesses (for a similar program for the farming industry, visit www.agr.gc.ca), not-for-profit organizations, or charitable and religious organizations.

    For more information, click the link below or check out this brochure


    TOURISM SECTOR FINANCING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

    Government has announced the Tourism Sector Financing Assistance Program that will back loans taken by large tourism operators so they can receive better interest rates and more favourable terms at their bank of choice. The program will be administered by the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Response Council at Dalhousie University.

    Tourism operators have experienced significant declines in revenues due to COVID-19 and are facing financial pressures that make it hard to sustain their operations. Also, because of Public Health requirements, tourism operators with large workforces and significant working capital requirements have faced additional uncertainty which may require them to refinance existing debt or apply for additional debt.

    How The Program Works:

    Eligible tourism operators can receive a Standby Letter of Credit, which lets them get more favourable business terms with their lenders so they can access or preserve the money they need to stay in business. Please note, the program doesn’t provide direct funding such as loans or grants.

    Eligibility Requirements

    To be eligible to apply for the program, tourism operators must:

    • be registered to do business in Nova Scotia and be an active business as defined in the Income Tax Act
    • have generated at least 75% of its revenue from Nova Scotia operations during its most recent fiscal year from at least one of these activities (resort operations, tour operations, scenic and sightseeing transportation)
    • have employed at least 100 full-time or seasonal employees in its most recently completed fiscal year
    • have experienced a revenue decline of at least 50% for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 July 2020 as compared to 1 April 2019 to July 2019
    • generate significant economic activity within Nova Scotia (pre-COVID-19 annual revenues of approximately $10 million) during its last fiscal year ending before 1 April 2020
    • have already, or be able to negotiate, an eligible debt instrument with a Canadian chartered bank or the Business Development Bank of Canada.

    THE 75% CANADA EMERGENCY WAGE SUBSIDY (CEWS)

    **UPDATED AS OF NOVEMBER 19, 2020**

    The updates include the following:

    Extended until June 2021, including changes to the rates and top-up calculation.

    Recent Changes:

    • The maximum subsidy rate for periods 8 to 10 will remain at 65% (40% base rate + 25% top-up).
    • Beginning in period 8, the top-up rate and base rate are is now calculated using the same one-month revenue drop for periods 8 to 10, use the new top-up calculation or the previous 3-month average drop, whichever works in your favour.
    • The deadline to apply is January 31, 2021, or 180 days after the end of the claim period, whichever comes later.
    • Starting in period 9, the calculation for employees on leave with pay now aligns better with EI benefits.
    • You can now calculate pre-crisis pay (baseline remuneration) for employees who were on certain kinds of leave, retroactive to period 5.
    • The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) has been introduced for businesses, non-profits, and charities.

    What is an eligible employer?

    Eligible employers include individuals, taxable corporations, partnerships whose partners are eligible employers, non‑profit organizations, and registered charities. Please note that public bodies, such as municipalities and local governments, Crown corporations, public universities, colleges, schools and hospitals, don’t qualify.

    How do you apply?

    Eligible employers will be able to apply for the CEWS through the CRA’s My Business Account portal, the Represent a Client Portal, as well as a web-based application. Employers must keep records demonstrating their reduction in revenues and remuneration paid to employees


    CANADA EMERGENCY BUSINESS ACCOUNT (CEBA)

    Extended until June 30, 2021

    This $55 billion program provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits.

    As of December 4, 2020, approved CEBA applicants can now receive a $60,000 loan. CEBA applicants who have received the $40,000 CEBA loan may apply the CEBA expansion, which provides eligible businesses with an additional $20,000 of financing.
    CEBA is available from more than 220 financial institutions across the country.

    Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022, will result in loan forgiveness of 33 per cent (up to $20,000).

    All applicants have until March 31, 2021, to apply for $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion.

    Application Requirements:

    2019 Business T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid Slip
    Canada Revenue Agency Business Number (BN) (15 characters) as reported under the field of “Employer’s account number”

    Here are some quick links for applications with participating banks. Please select the bank in which your business already banks with:


    LARGE EMPLOYER EMERGENCY FINANCING FACILITY (LEEFF)

    The LEEFF provides bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going.

    This fund allows Canada’s largest businesses, their employees, and their suppliers to remain active and position them for a rapid economic recovery.

    Businesses must fill out an online enquiry form before applying. The form can be found by clicking here.

    Click here for the LEEFF fact sheet.


    SMALL BUSINESS LOAN GUARANTEE PROGRAM

    Changes to the Province of Nova Scotia’s 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.


    BUSINESS CREDIT AVAILABILITY PROGRAM (BCAP)

    The BCAP will support access to financing for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions.

    Through this program, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will provide $65 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

    Businesses seeking support through BCAP should contact the financial institutions with whom they have a pre-existing relationship, so that the financial institutions may assess the client’s financial request. If the needs of the client exceed the level of support the financial institution is able to provide, the financial institution will work alongside BDC or EDC to access additional resources the Government has made available under BCAP.

    For Existing BDC Clients

    • May be eligible for a 6-month principal postponement of all existing debts as well as a working capital supplement
    • The working capital is a short term back end loaded loan with principal deferment for the first 12 months
    • The amount of this financing provided is based on a detailed projection or forecast identifying the “carrying costs” or “burn rate” of the business operation for the upcoming 12-24 months.

    For New BDC Clients

    New clients are also eligible for the working capital supplement under the same terms and conditions stated above with additional information required about the business, which would include, but are not limited to the most recent three years of year-end financial statements, interim financial statements, and projections and/or cash flow forecasts to determine eligible amounts.

    *Please note, standard credit criteria apply. Businesses must be financially viable prior to the pandemic to qualify.

    For loans under $100,000, you can apply online now. For loans over $100,000, please contact our local BDC branch.

    BDC Webinar for business, available here

  6. EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (EI)

    As of September 27, 2020, there have been some temporary changes made to the Employment Insurance to help individuals access EI benefits. The changes will be in effect until September 2021.

    The following changes were made:

    • A minimum employment rate of 13.1% applies to all regions across Canada starting August 9, 2020. If your region’s unemployment rates are higher than 13.1%, the government will use the higher actual rate to calculate your benefits.
    • You only require 120 insured hours to qualify for benefits because you’ll need to receive a one-time credit of 300 insured hours if you’re applying for the regular benefit or 480 insured hours if you’re applying for sickness, maternity, parental or caregiving benefits.
    • You’ll receive at least $500 per week before taxes or $300 per week before taxes for extended parental benefits but you could receive more
    • If you’re a fisher, we’ll look at the earnings from your 2018, 2019 and 2020 summer or winter seasons to determine your benefit rate and establish your claim for the same season.
    • If you received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the 52-week period to accumulate ensured hours will be extended.
    • A medical certificate is not required for EI claims beginning March 15, 2020, or later.

    CANADA RECOVERY CAREGIVING BENEFIT (CRCB)

    The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child who is under 12 years old or to a family member who needs supervised care. this applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they are sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19.

    Eligible individuals can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period.

    If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to reapply for a maximum of 26 weeks between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021.

    Eligibility Requirements:

    • You are unable to work at least 50% of your scheduled work week because you are caring for a family member
    • You are caring for your child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care because they are at home for one of the following reasons: their school or child care facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, their regular sare services are unavailable to them due to COVID-19 or the person under your care is sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19, at risk of serious health complications if they get COVID-19, as advised by a medical professional or is self-isolating due to COVID-19.
    • You did not apply or receive any of the following for the same period: Canada Recovery Benefit, Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, short-term disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, or Employment Insurance benefits.
    • You reside in Canada
    • You were present in Canada
    • You are at least 15 years old
    • You have a valid Social Insurance Number
    • You earned at least $5,000 (before deductions) in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 months before the date, you apply form any of the following sources: employment income, self-employment income, maternity and parental benefits from EI or similar benefits.
    • You are the only person in your household applying for the benefit for the week
    • You are not receiving a paid leave from your employer for the same period.

    CANADA RECOVERY SICKNESS BENEFIT (CRSB)

    The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they’re sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at a greater risk of getting COVID-19.

    Eligible individuals can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a 1-week period.

    If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to reapply for a maximum of 2 weeks between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021.

    Eligibility Requirements:

    • You are unable to work at least 50% of your scheduled work week because you are self-isolating for one of the following reasons: you are sick with COVID-19 or may have COVID-19, you are advised to seld-isolate due to COVID-19 or you have an underlying health condition that puts you at a greater risk of getting COVID-19.
    • You did not apply or receive any of the following for the same period: Canada Recovery Benefit, Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, short-term disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, or Employment Insurance benefits.
    • You reside in Canada
    • You were present in Canada
    • You are at least 15 years old
    • You have a valid Social insurance Number
    • You earned at least $5,000 (before deductions) in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 months before the date you apply from any of the following sources: employment income, self-employment income or maternity and parental benefits from EI or similar benefits.
    • You are not receiving paid leave from your employer for the same period.

    CANADA RECOVERY BENEFIT (CRB)

    Opens October 12.

    The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance Benefits. This benefit is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

    Eligible individuals can receive $1,000 ($900) after taxes withheld every 2 weeks.

    If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again for a maximum of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021.

    Eligibility Requirements:

    • You were not working for reasons related to COVID-19 or you had a 50% reduction in your average weekly income compared to the previous year due to COVID-19.
    • You did not apply or receive any of the following: Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, short-term disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, or Employment Insurance benefits.
    • You were not eligible for EI benefits
    • You reside in Canada
    • You were present in Canada
    • You are at least 15 years old
    • You have a valid Social Insurance Number
    • You earned at least $5,000 (before deductions) in 2019, 2020 or in the 12 months before you apply from any of the following sources: employment income, self-employment income, maternity and parental benefits from EI or similar QPIP benefits.
    • You have not quit your job or reduced your hours voluntarily on or after September 27, 2020.
    • You were seeking work during the period, either as an employee or in self-employment
    • You have not turned down reasonable work during the 2-week period you’re applying for.
  7. SUPPORT FOR INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS OR BUSINESSES

    Website: Government of Canada

    Website: CBC Arts – Help and support for Canadian artists and freelancers

    Website: Music Canada – Online survey for musicians to provide feedback to help Music Canada understand and capture artists’ experience and convey their stories to all levels of government.

    Website: Canadian Live Music Association – Developed a list of resources for the Canadian Live Music Industry/businesses


    FINANCIAL RELIEF FOR ARTISTS

    CanadaPerforms

    The National Arts Centre and Facebook Canada launched a new $100,000 partnership aimed at providing financial relief to performing artists whose livelihood has been cut off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Artists in any discipline can apply for a $1,000 grant to support a 45-60 minute livestream performance planned between March 19 and 31. The funding will come from Facebook Canada. The NAC will receive and administer applications. To apply for the grant, performing artists should submit their name, a description of their performance, the date and the streaming platform (which doesn’t have to be Facebook). For more information visit their website.

    Unison COVID-19 Relief Program

    The Unison Benevolent Fund and The Slaight Family Foundation have launched the Unison COVID19 Relief Program for those whose work in the Canadian music industry has been impacted and require assistance, please register for Unison’s services. Funding will be allocated towards housing costs, medical expenses, and groceries for those in the music industry across Canada.

    For more information please contact the Unison office by phone (1-855-986-4766, ext. 3) or by email at [email protected]


    IDEAS & TIPS TO CONNECT WITH AUDIENCES/CLIENTS

    Bandzoogle has put together this handy blog about how musicians can ask fans for support during the coronavirus pandemic found here.

    I Lost My Gig is a support group on Facebook for folks from various disciplines in the Gig Economy to gather, listen, and share here.

    MusicOntario will be reposting various updates, interesting content from the community, streaming events, and other tidbits.

    Music Managers Forum Canada has an incredibly thorough resource page that is being constantly updated here.

    Worldwide Independent Network has a list of resources for the indie music community across the work here.


    FUNDING UPDATES FOR ARTISTS, CREATIVE INDUSTRIES, WORKERS & ARTS ORGANIZATIONS

    Website: Canada Council for the Arts – Information for Canada Council for the Arts grant recipients and applicants whose funded projects are impacted by COVID-19

    Website: Canadian Heritage Funding (CHF) – Information about CHF funding status

  8. The Cape Breton Regional Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to launch the Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) to help the business community prepare, persevere and, ultimately, prosper as we collectively face the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Led by the Canadian Chamber and supported by the Government of Canada, the CBRN is an inclusive campaign that focuses on mitigating the impact of the pandemic on our economy and our communities by helping the business community drive Canada’s economic recovery.

    The CBRN aims to:

    • Provide tools and supports through a dedicated website, ca, to businesses in their business continuity efforts – from development to implementation.
    • Provide a consistent and reliable flow of accurate, up-to-date, authoritative information.
    • Work closely with government to ensure the right supports are in place and to be a conduit for information from the government to the private sector.
    • Instill confidence in Canadian business and the economy.

    CBRN brings together over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, along with over 100 of Canada’s leading business and industry associations, including the Business Council of Canada, the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, as well as the support of partners such as Canada Life.

  9. PROVINCIAL UPDATES AND SUPPORTS

    Offical Province of Nova Scotia COVID-19 Updates: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/

    Watch today’s (and previous) live webcasts visit: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    Provincial Government Business Navigators

    Need help navigating provincial regulations and programming? Connect with a Provincial Business Navigator.

    Navigators are available by:


  10. Coronavirus (COVID-19): vaccine

    Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 immunization plan and vaccine rollout to help protect us against COVID-19. The plan includes 3 phases. Each phase identifies when different groups can receive the vaccine.

    A Guide to the 75% Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
    A Resource from Grant Thorton

    A Guide for Senior Executives (c/o Deloitte)
    The heart of resilient leadership: Responding to COVID-19

    Business Support: Government of Canada
    Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Resources for Canadian Businesses

    Business Development Bank of Canada
    Support for Entrepreneurs Impacted by Coronavirus

    Business Development Bank of Canada
    Business Continuity Plan and Templates for Entrepreneurs

    Canada Business App
    Your mobile business partner to navigate government services, get recommendations tailored to your business and find the answers you need to start up, scale-up and access new markets.

    Canada Revenue Agency
    Helping Canadians with the economic impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Employment Insurance and Labour and Occupational Health and Safety
    Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Employment and Social Development Canada

    The Province of Nova Scotia
    Stats and Self Assessment Tool

    World Health Organization
    COVID-19 Information for Business and Employees

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