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.

January 05, 2022 Update

Nova Scotia will extend current COVID-19 restrictions until the end of January and make changes to self-isolation requirements. Restrictions that took effect on December 22 were set to expire on January 12 but will now continue until January 31. No new restrictions have been added.

The changes in self-isolation requirements are based on the latest evidence that shows a person with the Omicron variant is most infectious in the couple of days before and after symptoms develop, and the virus transmits more quickly between cases and their susceptible contacts.

The changes below take effect for most Nova Scotians on Friday, January 7, at 6 a.m. The changes do not apply to people who work in a high-risk healthcare setting, such as hospitals, home care and long-term care facilities – whether they test positive or are a close contact, they must notify their employer and follow their occupational health guidance, not the self-isolation requirements below.

New Self-Isolation Requirements for Positive Cases

The new requirements are determined by a person’s age, household situation and vaccination status:

Fully vaccinated person or a child 11 years old or younger

  • must isolate for a minimum of seven days following the onset of symptoms or a positive test if asymptomatic
  • can leave isolation after Day 7 if there are no symptoms or symptoms are improving and there has been no fever for at least 24 hours

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated person or a person who is immunocompromised

  • must isolate for a minimum of 10 days
  • can leave isolation after Day 10 if they no longer have symptoms or symptoms are improving and there has been no fever for at least 24 hours.

Isolation requirements apply regardless of the type of test taken (rapid test or lab-based PCR test).

Changes to Isolation Requirements for close contacts

If a fully vaccinated person or child who is 11 or younger is identified as a close contact of a positive case:

  • they should get tested 72 hours after exposure and watch for symptoms
  • if they take a PCR test, no further testing is needed unless they develop symptoms
  • if they take a rapid test, they should do a second rapid test 48 hours after the first.

Until they get their first negative test result, they should:

  • stay at home except to go to school, work or child care
  • work from home as much as possible
  • practise physical distancing when at work or school, including while eating or drinking
  • wear a properly fitted, three-layer mask
  • only do essential activities such as getting groceries or prescriptions if there is nobody else who can do it for them.

For all others, including immunocompromised people who haven’t had a booster:

  • they must immediately isolate for seven days
  • they can leave isolation after two negative rapid tests done on Day 6 and Day 8 or after one negative PCR test done on Day 6 or 7
  • if symptoms develop, they must remain isolated and get tested.

Isolating in Household

If someone with COVID-19 can isolate completely separately from the rest of their household, then other members of the household follow the direction for close contacts. However, if the person cannot isolate completely separately, then other members of the household must isolate along with them for the duration of their isolation – regardless of their vaccination status – and should be tested on Day 3 or 4 and again on the last day of isolation. They can leave isolation if the last test is negative.

December 17, 2021 Update

Today, December 17th, the province of Nova Scotia announced business support for Nova Scotia businesses who have been specifically impacted by the newest province-wide public health restrictions that came into affect today.

The Sector Impact Support Program* will provide a one-time grant of up to $7,500 to help small business owners in industries such as:

  • restaurants
  • bars
  • gyms
  • live performing arts facilities; and recreation facilities.

Applications will open in early January. Eligible businesses can receive the following amounts based on November 2021 gross payroll costs:

  • Payroll costs between $1,000 and $15,000 – grant of $2,500
  • Payroll costs between $15,001 and $25,000 – grant of $5,000
  • Payroll costs between $25,001 or more – grant of $7,500.

Once the province official announces the distribution of this funding, we, at the Chamber, will provide the information to you, our Valued Chamber Members, so that you remain on the front lines of this vital funding.

Quick Facts:

The program will be available to: restaurants offering in-person dining service; bars and other licensed drinking establishments; fitness, recreational and leisure facilities including gyms, yoga studios, indoor play areas, arcades, climbing facilities, dance programs and music lessons; boat and walking tours; private museums; rinks and arenas that are NOT municipally owned; and live performing arts facilities.

Businesses must be registered in Nova Scotia as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, society, social enterprise, not-for-profit, charity in business, or other similar organization; have an active CRA Business Number (BN); and have gross revenue of $5 million or less in its most recently completed tax year.

Businesses must have had a minimum gross monthly payroll of $1,000 for November 2021 to qualify.

Incorporated businesses that operate more than one eligible business establishment under a single corporate entity may claim a rebate for each business establishment.

*The Sector Impact Support Program will be funded through the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Response Council. It is expected to cost about $10 million depending on participation.

Phase 5 Update
Phase 5 will start on October 4 with a cautious approach. Most restrictions will be lifted while some will remain in place.
  • There will no longer be a requirement for physical distance.
  • There will no longer be gathering limits for events hosted by a business organization. The informal gathering limits of 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors will remain in place.
  • Masks will still be required in indoor public places.
  • As noted above, the proof of full vaccination requirement will start on October 4.
  • Current border restrictions will remain in place and be expanded to include people coming from PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador. That means self-isolation will still be required after travel for people who aren’t fully vaccinated (at least 7 days plus 2 negative tests). International travelers will continue to follow federal requirements.
  • Otherwise, the only restrictions that will remain in place for the general population are those related to management of COVID-19 cases. For example, people with symptoms must still get tested, isolate while they wait for results and continue to isolate if they test positive.
  1. Targeted Sector Impact Program – NOW OPEN

    The Targeted Sector Impact Program provides a one-time grant of $2,500 to help cosmetology businesses and practitioners directly affected by recent health orders that prevented the removal of masks during cosmetology services.

    Eligibility

    Eligible businesses must:

    • have earned 50% or more of its revenue between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021 from cosmetology services that could not be performed due to health orders prohibiting the of removal of masks during cosmetology procedures including facials, make-up, microdermabrasion, facial skin care and peels
    • be registered and in good standing with the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia
    • have a permanent physical location in Nova Scotia
    • be registered to do business in Nova Scotia
    • have an active CRA Business Number (BN) (self-employed people who are not registered with the CRA will need to provide their social insurance number for tax receipt preparation)
    • be in good standing with the Government of Nova Scotia (not in default of any financial obligations like loan repayments, taxes, fines, fees or administrative and court orders)

    Grant Amount

    Eligible businesses receive a one-time grant of $2,500. A second grant of $2,500 is available for businesses with a gross revenue of $45,000 or more in November 2021.

    Sector Impact Support Program – NOW OPEN

    The Sector Impact Support Program provides a one-time grant of up to $7,500 to help small business owners that have been impacted by the new province-wide public health restrictions.

    Eligibility

    Eligible businesses include:

    • restaurants offering in-person dining service
    • bars or licensed drinking establishments (including tasting rooms and craft taprooms)
    • fitness establishments (including gyms and yoga studios) and sport and recreation facilities (excluding municipally owned or operated facilities)
    • businesses and organizations offering indoor recreation and leisure activities (including climbing facilities, dance classes, escape rooms, go-carts, indoor arcades, indoor play spaces, music lessons, pottery painting, shooting ranges and holiday craft markets)
    • live performing arts facilities
    • boat and walking tours
    • private museums

    Your business must:

    • be registered in Nova Scotia as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, society, social enterprise, not-for-profit, charity in business or other similar organization
    • have an active CRA Business Number (BN)
    • have gross revenue of $5,000,000 or less in its most recently completed tax year

    Incorporated businesses that operate more than one eligible business establishment under a single corporate entity, may apply for a rebate for each business establishment.

    Gross monthly payroll cost in November 2021 Gross monthly revenue in November 2021 Grant amount
    $1,000 – $15,000 $2,500 – $45,000 $2,500
    $15,001 – $25,000 $45,001 – $75,000 $5,000
    $25,001 or more $75,001 or more $7,500

    Grant amount

    Eligible businesses receive a one-time grant based on gross payroll cost or gross revenue in November 2021.

     


     

    New Tourism Relief Fund (TRF)

    Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, Mélanie Joly, announced a $500-million national program to support the tourism sector in Canada.

    The Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) will help position Canada as a destination of choice when domestic and international travel is once again deemed safe by:

    • empowering tourism businesses to create new or enhance existing tourism experiences and products to attract more local and domestic visitors
    • helping the sector reposition itself to welcome international visitors, by providing the best Canadian tourism experiences we have to offer the world

    Initiatives under this fund will help tourism businesses and organizations:

    • adapt their operations to meet public health requirements
    • improve their products and services
    • position themselves for post-pandemic economic recovery

    A minimum of $50 million of the TRF will specifically support Indigenous tourism initiatives.

    Eligible applicants include tourism entities that cater mainly to visitors, such as:
    businesses;
    not-for-profit organizations, such as tourism associations; and
    band councils or other Indigenous organizations and cooperatives.

    To be eligible for this fund, applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • Be a key supplier or operator in the visitor experience;
    • Be part of a defined tourism cluster or a tourism-dependent community, including supporting downtown cores; or
    • Provide an anchor product or service in a tourism destination.

    For more information visit the ACOA website below and download the applicant guide.


    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

  2. Nova Scotia’s Proof of Full Vaccination Protocol

    Premier Houston, Minister Thompson, and Dr. Strang, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced the final details of Nova Scotia’s proof of full vaccination protocol, which goes into effect as Phase 5 begins on Monday, October 4.

    Anyone age 12 or older who is not fully vaccinated will not be able to access discretionary, recreational, or non-essential activities, with minimal exceptions. We encourage everyone to carefully read the proof of full vaccination protocol.

     We want to highlight a few changes and areas of additional clarification that have been made based on conversations with people in many sectors in the past week:
    • Proof of vaccination will be required for dining in at food establishments, including fast-food restaurants and coffee shops, but not for take-out, delivery, drive-through or food courts.
    • Proof of vaccination is not required for general access to public libraries (to do things such as borrow books and use computers). However, people will need to show proof of vaccination to participate in public library programs.
    • Legislatively required meetings where people have a democratic right to participate, such as municipal council meetings where citizens can present, do not require proof of vaccination.
    • Proof of full vaccination is not required for full-time or part-time staff of businesses and organizations that host events and activities that are subject to the protocol. It is required for volunteers who host, lead, or organize these events and activities. A list of the events and activities is in section 3.1 of the protocol.
    • Businesses and organizations are not able to keep records of people’s proof of vaccination without their consent because it is private health information. However, they can get consent from people to keep this information. A template consent form is available in the guide for businesses and organizations that will need to check for proof of full vaccination. More information is in section 2.4 of the protocol.

     

    Proof of Full Vaccination Resources

     

  3. WORKPLACE RAPID TESTING – CURRENTLY PAUSED DECEMEBER 2021

    COVID-19 outbreak throughout Nova Scotia, the province has announced a change to workplace testing.

     

    The Workplace Screening Program will be paused. All orders placed on or after December 13th will not be fulfilled. Organizations that fall under the following high-priority streams will continue to be supported, they include:
    •  Long-term care facilities
    •  Shelters and transition homes
    •  DCS funded homes and day programs
    •  First Nations communities
    •  African Nova Scotian communities

     

  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. 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.

    PAID SICK LEAVE PROGRAM

    Under the Paid Sick Leave Program, Nova Scotians who need to take time off work because of COVID-19 may qualify for up to 4 paid sick days through the COVID-19 Sick Leave Program.

    Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave program is available from 20 December 2021 to 31 March 2022 for individuals who can’t work remotely and miss less than 50% of their scheduled work time in a 1-week period because of COVID-19.

    This includes taking time off because you’re:

    • self-isolating because of an exposure, close contact, or COVID-19 symptoms and are waiting to get a rapid or PCR test
    • getting a rapid or PCR test
    • self-isolating while waiting to get PCR test results
    • getting a vaccine or booster dose (time missed due to a reaction or symptoms from a vaccine or booster is not covered)
    The program covers eligible sick days taken between 20 December 2021 and 31 March 2022. The 4 sick days don’t need to be taken consecutively.
    Under the program, employers pay the employee for the time they missed and then apply for reimbursement. Self-employed workers apply for the time they missed work. The payment is calculated based on the employee’s current rate of pay up to a maximum of $20 per hour or $160 day (the maximum total payment per employee is $640).

    Eligibility

    Employers can apply for reimbursement within 30 days of an employee’s sick days for the period of 20 December 2021 to 31 March 2022 if they:

    • are a for-profit business or not-for-profit organization
    • have a permanent physical location in Nova Scotia
    • are registered to do business in Nova Scotia
    • are in good standing with the Government of Nova Scotia (not in default of any financial obligations like loan repayments, taxes, fines, fees and administrative and court orders)
    • are claiming reimbursement for Nova Scotia-based employees
    • do not provide their employees with at least 4 paid sick leave days

    Self-employed people can apply if they:

    • are a resident of Nova Scotia
    • are actively earning income from the business as their primary source of income
    • are registered to do business in Nova Scotia, if applicable
    • have declared business income on their most recent tax return
    • have lost income because they missed time at work
    • are in good standing with the Government of Nova Scotia (not in default of any financial obligations like loan repayments, taxes, fines, fees and administrative and court orders)
    • aren’t eligible for or receiving other income support (like Business Interruption Insurance, Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit or any other income replacement or insurance programs)

    How to apply:

    Applications must be received within 30 days of the date the employee was paid, or the time was missed by the self-employed worker.


    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.
  6. 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]nisonfund.ca.


    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

  7. 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.

  8. 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:


  9. 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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