May 25, 2020

OpportunityThis week’s blog will discuss some of the important changes to existing government programs and the launching of a new program aimed at supporting those businesses that were left out of previous efforts.

For a comprehensive list of all programs being offered, visit the Western Regional Enterprise Networks COVID-19 page. Click HERE to access it.

Program Updates

Canadian Emergency Business Account

Recently the government announced new changes that expanded the eligibility criteria for the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA). Previously the program did not allow sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses to apply and it also excluded businesses that rely on contractors and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll. This is no longer the case as they are now eligible for the program if they meet the following criteria:

  • Payroll must be less than $20,000.
  • Possess a business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • Have a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • Have eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

With these changes many businesses, including those in the farming sector, are now able to access the program. Click HERE for more details on the CEBA.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

This week the government announced a new program to help businesses who did not qualify for previously announced programs. The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund new(RRRF) is available to those business that have previously applied to other programs and were denied or were successful in receiving funding but are still experiencing hardship due to COVID-19. The RRRF will be administered by ACOA to businesses that operate in the business to business space while the CBDC will administer the fund to smaller “main street” businesses. Click HERE for more details on the RRRF.

Fish Harvesting and Processing Safety Practices and PPE Aid

The Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council has made available safety practices for fish harvesters and fish processors (Click HERE for details). In conjunction with these safety procedures, Perennia has implemented a fund that assists companies in: purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); other safety materials; and in developing new protocols and procedures to ensure safety of both seafood products and employees who are essential to maintaining operations (Click HERE for details). Visit Perennia’s website to view other programs available to fish harvesters and processors. Click HERE for details.

Rent Deferral Guarantee Program – Application Deadline Extension

Registered landlords of the provincial COVID-19 Rent Deferral Guarantee Program have had their application deadline extended to June 26th, 2020. Their full applications must be sent to the Department of Business at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by the deadline. Click HERE for guidelines and HERE for the lease agreement.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (CECRA) portal will open on Monday, May 25, 2020. Landlords who register for the program can receive a forgivable loan to cover half of April, May and June’s rent if it is lowered by 75 per cent over the same period. Application documents are now available on the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s website. Click HERE for details.

Retailers Road to Recovery Playbook

The Retail Council of Canada has made available a Road to Recovery Playbook. Click HERE to access it.

Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS) Webinar Wednesdays

TIANS continues to offer free webinars to the public, Click HERE to view them.

Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce Reopening “Toolkit”

The Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce (YACC) has made available several documents and information aimed at helping businesses contemplating reopening. Please see below:

  • COVID-19 Risk Assessment Tool - click HERE
  • Reopening webinar- click HERE
  • Reopening Presentation- click HERE
  • Reopening and Recovery Guide- click HERE

Alternatively these documents are available under the Resource-Reopen and Recovery section of the following YACC web page (click HERE to access it). This page also contains specific advice for specific sectors.

For help in navigating any of the above mentioned programs (opportunities), do not hesitate to contact Mark Blinn and 902-307-3492 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.