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Nova Scotia Economic Support

October 16, 2020

Nova Scotia Economic Support

5 Minute Read

Find out the latest support programs for individuals and businesses in Nova Scotia.


Supports for Individuals

  • Investing $2.2 million so that every individual and family member on income assistance will receive an additional $50 starting Friday, March 20, to help pay for food, cleaning supplies and personal care items. People do not need to apply. (March 19)
  • Partnering with Telus to provide 100 phones and calling plans to most-vulnerable clients who have no other means of communication and who may be self-isolated and alone at a cost of $50,000 for the phones and $5,000 per month for the calling plans. (March 27)
  • $20 million Worker Emergency Bridge Fund to help the self-employed and those laid-off workers who do not qualify for Employment Insurance. Government will provide a one-time, $1,000 payment, to bridge the gap between layoffs and closures and the federal government's Canada Emergency Response Benefit. (April 2)
  • Applications for the $40 million Worker Emergency Bridge Fund and Small Business Impact Grant will be available and accepted starting Friday, April 10. (April 9)
  • The Essential Health Care Workers Program will see health-care workers receive a bonus of up to $2,000 after a four-month period, beginning March 13. It includes eligible employees at the Nova Scotia Health Authority, IWK Health Centre and in long-term care, home care and in-home support and emergency health services. (May 7)
  • In July, government will expand the Nova Scotia Child Benefit to include more families, while also raising the amount eligible families receive. Families with incomes below $34,000 will now be eligible. Previously, only those earning $26,000 or less qualified. The amount will also increase from $625 per year to $925 annually for the first child for all eligible families. (June 29)
  • No tenant can be evicted because their income has been impacted by COVID-19, effective immediately for the next three months. (March 19)
Supports for Students
  • Payment on Nova Scotia student loans will be suspended for six months, from March 30 to Sept. 30 and students do not have to apply. (March 20)

Supports for Businesses

  • Government will defer payments until June 30 for all government loans and small business fees, including business renewal fees and workers compensation premiums. (March 20)
  • Changes to the 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, government will guarantee the first $100,000. (March 20)
  • Small businesses which do business with the government will be paid within five days instead of the standard 30 days. (March 20)
  • Government is encouraging retail and commercial landlords to defer lease payments for the next three months for businesses that had to close directly due to the public health order. Landlords who participate by granting such businesses a three-month deferral and register by April 3 will be able to claim losses of up to $5,000 per month, if the renting business does not continue operating. (March 27)
  • $20 million to fund the Small Business Impact Grant. Eligible small businesses and social enterprises will receive a grant of 15 per cent of their gross revenues -- either from April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000. This flexible, one-time, upfront grant can be used for any purpose necessary. (April 2)
  • Applications for the $40 million Worker Emergency Bridge Fund and Small Business Impact Grant will be available and accepted starting Friday, April 10. (April 9)
  • Nova Scotia announced that payment for more than 480 small-business fees will be deferred until June 30 to keep cash in small business hands. (April 9)
  • The COVID-19 Small Business Credit and Support Program is a temporary stream for access to credit, cash grants and support delivered through participating credit unions. The program will be available starting Wednesday, April 29. To be eligible, small businesses must have a payroll less than $20,000 in the previous fiscal year and have experienced a decline in revenue from sales of at least 15 percent in March or at least 30 percent in April, May or June. Upon approval, businesses will receive a grant up to $1,500, as well as a COVID-19 Business Continuity Voucher of up to $1,500, to help hire a private consultant for advice and support. (April 24)
  • Nova Scotia is partnering with the federal government to provide commercial rent relief for small businesses that have temporarily ceased operations or experienced a 70 percent revenue decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The province is contributing $9 million to the program. (April 24)
  • Eligible businesses, non-profits, charities and social enterprises will be able to access the new Small Business Reopening and Support Grant, a $25 million fund that will provide grants to help them open safely and business continuity vouchers for advice and support to become more resilient in the coming months. Applications will begin June 1. (May 27)
  • The application deadline for the Small Business Reopening and Support Grant has been extended to Friday, July 17, to allow more time for businesses to apply. (July 2)
Agriculture and Agribusiness
  • The provincial government announced nearly $13 million in funding to create jobs in the agriculture sector and assist farmers and producers. The funding is part of a plan to support employment in rural communities and help open new markets and products for renewable resource-based businesses during the COVID-19 global pandemic. (June 19)**NLFD LINK**
  • A three-member trustee board will oversee spending decisions of a $50 million trust fund that will continue to advance the transition and development of Nova Scotia's forestry sector. First announced in February, the Forestry Innovation Transition Trust may be accessed by companies, organizations or post-secondary institutions working and researching in the forestry and biological resources sectors. The trust expects to open for applications in July. (June 16)
Support for Local Governments
  • A new operating loan program is being introduced to help municipalities with financial losses due to COVID-19. The $380 million loan program, which was developed in collaboration with the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities and the Association of Municipal Administrators, will be available through the Municipal Finance Corporation. (April 28)


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