INSTAGRAM LIVE SESSION WITH GOVERNMENT
Looking for another way to ask Government questions on our response to #COVID19? Join our Instagram Live session on Wednesday, April 1 from 11 am to 2 pm. First, make sure you follow NSGov on Instagram. Starting at 11am, submit your questions via the question box. Questions will be accepted until 1pm and answers will be posted until 2 pm. Tune in to ask your questions and hear our answers.
BUSINESS SUPPORT PROGRAMS
Small Business Development Program
Applications for NSBI’s Business Development Program (formerly SBDP) are now being accepted. The program matches businesses and a private consultant to overcome a pain point or barrier or a business expert to help identify and develop the leadership skills needed to scale your company. Visit nsbi.ca/bdp to learn more.
NSBI is providing virtual workshops and training courses to support SME’s access programming at times that work for them – all the more important during the current climate. The featured sessions including Planning for Now: Improvise, Adapt & Overcome and How to Mitigate Financial Risk During Crisis, provide companies with vital strategies and hands-on tips on how to deal with the current crisis.
Information can be found here https://www.novascotiabusiness.com/events/nsbi.ca/events
Funding Search Tool updated for COVID-19
Through NSBI’s website, the Funding Search Tool now enables businesses to keyword search any funding tools locally and across the country specific to the current COVID challenges to business – just use the keyword COVID-19 https://novascotiabusiness.com/export/online-tools/funding-search-tool
BUSINESS SUPPORT FROM SAINT MARY’S UNIVERSITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP CENTRE
In response to COVID-19, Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre is offering free virtual one-on-one strategy sessions to Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs. The sessions aim to provide support, insight, and additional resources to help entrepreneurs overcome current challenges.
More information can be found at https://smuec.ca/
NOVA SCOTIA TENDER NOTICES
Are you a business that can supply products and service in support of Nova Scotia’s response to COVID-19? If so, we want to hear from you.
We are also interested in hearing from innovative businesses or organizations that have a solution for:
• virtual mental health services for vulnerable people or those living in remote communities
• supply chain resiliency monitoring
• financial planning and advising for small businesses that can be delivered online at low-cost, including advice on how to apply for relief programs
• other ideas or products that could help Nova Scotians
A procurement portal has been developed and includes a list of products and services we’re looking for. For more information, visit https://procurement.novascotia.ca/ns-tenders.aspx
EMPLOYER ASSESSMENT TOOL UPDATE
An assessment online tool has been posted to the provincial Coronavirus website to quickly help employers determine if they may remain open, in compliance with current workplace safety requirements. You can find the assessment tool here: https://covid19-employer-assessment.novascotia.ca/en
COVID-19 SMALL BUSINESS RENTAL DEFERRAL SUPPORT PROGRAM
This program is intended to immediately help those businesses who have had to close due the provincial public health order. This is not a stand-program; we will be announcing more supports for businesses in the coming days that complement federal programming. Entering into a rent deferral will not prevent Nova Scotia-based restaurants or other eligible small businesses from participating in other current or future programs offered by the federal or provincial governments.
We ask landlords and retail and commercial tenants to work together to develop a deferral and repayment solution that benefits both sides. Small businesses are good tenants.
So far, 60 landlords representing 176 tenants have registered their participation in the Rent Deferral Support program. This represents $1.02 million in rent deferred, for an average of $5,780 per tenant.
The guidelines are online https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/#support
Rental deferral agreements must be in place by April 1 and you must register your intent with the Department of Business by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 3, by emailing NSRentDeferral@novascotia.ca .
By April 30, 2020, the landlord must submit an application to the Department of Business which will include an application form and a copy of the deferral agreement. Each landlord will be contacted directly by the Department.
PROVINCIAL SUPPORTS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
The provincial government has announced several initiatives to address cash flow and access to credit for small and medium sized businesses in Nova Scotia:
• Payment deferrals until June 30 on all government loans, including those under the Farm Loan Board, Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, Jobs Fund, Nova Scotia Business Fund, Municipal Finance Corp. and Housing Nova Scotia.
• Fees, including business renewal fees and workers compensation premiums, will be deferred. A list of applicable fees will be posted.
• Changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, administered through provincial Credit Unions include deferring principal and interest payments until June 30.
• Other changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program include enhancing the program to make it easier for businesses to access credit up to $500,000. For new loans, the first $100,000 will be fully guaranteed by the province. Other changes to this program will be announced soon.
More supports for small business will be announced in the coming days.
Provincial website: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/
Follow the Department of Business on Twitter – @NS_DoB
Follow Nova Scotia government on Instagram – nsgov
To watch today’s (and previous) live webcasts visit: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwLZ9YtgHtLCpATUVFKVf72xyF103eHaE
Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus
Government of Canada toll-free information line 1-833-784-4397
Government Business Navigators: More information on this service is available https://novascotia.ca/regulatoryopportunity/business-navigators.asp. Navigators are available by calling or 1-844-628-7347 , 902-424-4475 Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm or by email BusNavigation@novascotia.ca
SUMMARY OF PROVINCIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
Refer to novascotia.ca/news for full details
March 30 Announcement includes:
• Schools closed until May 1. Online and paper-based learning strategies are being developed to support student learning.
• Employer Assessment tool to help businesses and non-profits clarify if they can remain open and how to comply with public health orders and workplace safety requirements added online
March 27 Announcement includes:
• Support for landlords who enter into a rent deferral agreement with their commercial tenants
• Restaurants can now include alcohol in their take-out and delivery sales
• Government has purchased 800 ipads for use in long term care facilities
March 26 Announcement includes:
• COVID testing is being expanded to include:
Anyone referred by 811 to an assessment centre
All close contacts of people who test positive
People in hospital that meet the criteria for testing
• Reservations for 2020 camping season are on hold until further notice
• Open fires for any purpose in woods or within 305 metres of woods in any part of the province are banned until May 15
March 24 Announcement include:
Measures to strengthen the health system, help Nova Scotians dealing with COVID-19
Access Centres and Registry of Motor Vehicle Offices to resume operations in a scaled back, limited contact business model.
Regulated health professions can stay open for emergency or urgent care or to provide virtual care as long as they meet social distancing requirements
Non-regulated health professions must close (with exception of podiatrists)
March 22 State of Emergency declared
March 21 Dentists can no longer practice dentistry in their offices unless deemed necessary to perform an emergency dental procedure
March 18 Announcement re: Personal Services and fitness establishments
• Includes: hair salons, barbershops, spas, nail salons, body art establishments, gyms
March 17 No public gatherings of more than 50 people
Announcements re: restaurants
• Only take-out and delivery permitted
• Drinking establishments, winery and distillery tasting rooms and craft taprooms closed
• Private liquor stores permitted to be open, and craft breweries, wineries and distilleries can still sell storefront
Access Nova Scotia closed
March 15 Announcements include
• Long-term care closed effective immediately
• Public schools and regulated childcare closed
• Social distancing – 2 meters/6 feet, gatherings of less than 150 or much smaller if possible