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Prince Edward Island Economic Support

16/09/2020


Both Individuals and Businesses

  • PEI announced an initial $25 million Emergency Contingency Fund to support Island workers, including the self-employed, and small businesses who are affected by COVID-19. (March 16)
  • PEI announced a $15 million increase to the Emergency Contingency Fund in anticipation of the evolving critical needs of Island families, workers and businesses. (April 3)
  • Islanders are encouraged to share their innovative, bold and sustainable ideas with the Premier’s Council for Recovery and Growth and help shape Prince Edward Island’s future. Islanders can share their ideas online with the Council to guide the development of a plan to move the province forward over the coming months and years. Islanders will have until September 15 to submit their ideas online. (Aug 11)

Support for Individuals

  • Emergency Income Relief for the self-employed will provide $500 per week lump sum for self-employed Islanders, delivered through Innovation PEI. (March 17)
  • Province of Prince Edward Island announced a temporary allowance of $200 per week for anyone who has experienced a significant drop in their working hours. (March 18)
  • The Employee Gift Card Program is a temporary program put in place to offer a $100 Sobeys gift card to any employee, living and working on Prince Edward Island, who has received a lay-off notice as a direct result of the impacts associated with COVID-19. The application form is to be completed by the employer, who will then distribute the cards to affected employees. The cost of the program is being shared by Sobeys and the provincial government. (March 24)
  • The COVID-19 Income Support Program will help Islanders bridge the gap between their loss of income and Employment Insurance benefits or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This fund provides a onetime, taxable payment of $750. Islanders who, as of March 13, 2020, have lost their job or have been laid off, have had their Employment Insurance benefits expire and do not yet have a job to return to, or are self-employed and have lost all revenues through self- employment may be eligible. (April 1)
  • PEI announced a $1 million fund for Islanders who may not qualify for existing support programs. The COVID-19 Special Situations Fund will provide up to $1,000 to Islanders who have experienced urgent income loss as a result of COVID-19 and are not eligible for other federal and provincial funding support. (April 2)
  • The government of PEI announced the $16.7 million COVID-19 Incentive to Support Essential Workers. This temporary wage top-up program is for Island workers employed by any business or organization, including for-profit, non-profit or other entity providing essential services. Essential workers who have been working through the pandemic and make less than $3,000 per four-week period will receive a one-time payment of $1,000 through their employers. Employers can fill out the application form on behalf of their eligible employees. (May 7)
Childcare
  • Establishing a fund of up to $2 million to support early learning centres and their staff, maintain childcare spaces and ensure parents do not pay fees during the period of closures. (March 21)
Support for Students
  • Suspending repayments for provincial student loans for the next six months. (March 21)
  • In total, the Province will support the creation of 1,000 new job placements for Island high school and postsecondary students through increases to current employment programs and partnerships with community and industry. (April 14)
  • PEI also announced enhancements through the Jobs for Youth Program to community, environment, and non-government organizations to create 280 student employment opportunities. (April 14)
  • Through the Farm Team Program, students returning to post-secondary studies in the fall will receive a $2,000 bursary and students returning to high school will receive a $1,000 bursary. The bursary amounts were doubled over last year to encourage more students work in agriculture. (May 5)
Housing
  • $1 million Temporary Rental Assistance Benefit will be available to assist Island households that are currently renting and have seen an unexpected loss of income due to COVID-19. (March 30)
  • PEI announced the Prince Edward Island Housing Corporation would be extending its moratorium on evictions to the end of June. (March 30)
  • The Temporary Rental Assistance Benefit will provide $1,000 per household to help cover the cost of rent for a three- month period. Eligible Islanders will receive $500 in the first month they apply and $250 the next two months. (April 2)
  • The province confirms that eviction orders will not be enforced during the COVID-19 pandemic. (April 2)
  • Additional financial measures were announced to help Islanders with property tax relief through amendments to the Real Property Tax Act regulations.
    • Deferring provincial property tax and fee payments until December 31, 2020;
    • Extending property assessment appeal deadlines for assessment year 2020 to December 31, 2020;
    • Providing interest relief for tax year 2020, including all past due amounts;
    • Suspending tax sale processes for the remainder of 2020; and
    • Delaying mailing of provincial tax bills for 2020 until June. (April 3)

Supports for Businesses

  • Emergency Working Capital Financing, which will provide support for small businesses through a capital loan of up to $100,000 with a fixed interest rate of 4 percent per annum, to be delivered through Finance PEI. (March 17)
  • Deferring all scheduled loan payments for clients of Finance PEI, Island Investment Development Inc., and the PEI Century Fund for the next three months. (March 18)
  • Providing $4.5 million to Community Business Development Corporations across the province to deliver financing to small business and entrepreneurs. (March 18)
  • PEI announced the new Commercial Lease Rent Deferral Program to support small and medium-sized businesses who have closed due to the impacts of COVID-19. Landlords who defer rent payments from their commercial tenants for three months (May-July) could be eligible for financial assistance (up to a maximum of $50,000 per landlord and $15,000 per tenant) if the deferred rent can’t be recovered. (March 30)
  • PEI announced the new COVID-19 Business Adaptation Advice Program. It covers the entire cost for businesses and entrepreneurs, up to $2,500, to hire a professional to provide advice and support on how to adapt or recover from the impacts of the pandemic. (April 2)
  • PEI announced that the province is extending the deadline for Jobs for Youth to April 30 to allow employers ample time to apply for wage subsidies from this program. (April 8)
  • To help Island business retain their current employees, Minister Fox announced an increase to private sector wage subsidies through the Employment Development Agency. The subsidy will increase from 50 percent of wages to 75 percent of wages. (April 14)
  • The government announced an expansion of the Post-Secondary Employment Program through Skills PEI. The program supports 100 per cent of student wages for government and non-government organizations and will now support 75 per cent wage funding for the private sector, up from 50 per cent. (April 14)
  • The government announced the COVID-19 Workspace Adaption Assistance Fund to help small businesses purchase and install protective measures such as plexiglass dividers or handwashing stations to safeguard employees and customers. Businesses can receive up to $2,000 and the program will be retroactive to March 16th to support businesses that have already put measures in place to operate safely. (May 7)
  • The Employment Development Agency will provide funding for an additional 200 employment positions to businesses in rural PEI, through the Rural Jobs Initiative which helps rural business owners to recruit, hire, and train staff and supports innovation in rural communities across the province. (June 30)
Agriculture and Agribusiness
  • PEI announced a new $750,000 COVID-19 Strategic Fund for Agriculture under the Canada Agriculture Partnership to help commodities and small processors adapt to the pandemic. Eligible projects could include changing a workplace environment to accommodate physical distancing, doing more business online, or adjusting quickly to changing markets. (April 9)
  • PEI announced an expansion of the Team Seafood program to encourage more Island youth to participate in the fishing and aquaculture industries. Through Team Seafood, the province provides a bursary, on top of employee wages, to high school or post-secondary students. The province will support 250 new placements through this program. (April 14)
  • To increase the COVID-related supports provided by the province’s post-secondary institutions to students in immediate need, Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning Brad Trivers announced a total of $95,000 to support the UPEI Student Union, Holland College and Collège de l'Île. (April 14)
  • In order to support the potato industry of Prince Edward Island, the Province of Prince Edward Island is working with producers and processors to provide $4.7 million towards shipping and storage costs of potatoes for processing. This investment will help mitigate a potato surplus resulting from market conditions related to COVID-19. (April 23)
  • Through the Department of Agriculture and Land’s Business Risk Management (BRM) Programs, the province will help farmers manage risks that threaten the viability of their farm operations, with up to $8.8 million in support for farmers being available through the BRM programs for the next two years. (April 23)
  • The AgriStability Program package includes paying the provincial portion of the costs to increase the coverage level for producers enrolled in the program from 70 percent to 85 percent and removing the reference margin limit which will have a positive impact on the livestock industry. In addition, the province is offering interim payments of up to 75 percent to get funding into producer’s hands in a timely manner. When combined, this will provide an estimated $5.6 million in support for farmers over two years. (April 23)
  • The AgriInsurance Program will offer a 10 percent discount on the producer’s share of insurance premiums, saving farmers an estimated $3.2 million over two years. (April 23)
  • Through the Farm Team Program, students returning to post-secondary studies in the fall will receive a $2,000 bursary and students returning to high school will receive a $1,000 bursary. The bursary amounts were doubled over last year to encourage more students work in agriculture. (May 5)
  • The Prince Edward Island Fish Emergency Loan Program, a targeted loan portfolio offered by Finance PEI and the PEI Credit Unions, will provide loans up to $25,000 to Islander harvesters at 4 percent interest over a five-year term. The principal will be deferred for the first 18 months. In addition, the Department of Fisheries and Communities will pay interest on behalf of the borrower for the first 18 months. (May 7)
  • The Interest Relief Program will support fish harvesters with up to 12 months of interest relief and service debt costs on a maximum of $250 million at an average interest rate of 5 percent. Fish harvesters that can demonstrate a 30 per cent or more decrease in fish-related revenues for the 2020 fishing season will be eligible. (May 7)
Tourism
  • The government announced a new $50 million tourism assistance loan facility through Finance PEI, with maximum financing of up to $1 million at four percent interest available for working capital. Both the principal payments on the loan, as well as interest, will be deferred for the first 18 months. (April 16)
  • Additionally, the province will provide interest relief on existing loans to tourism business for up to 18 months. (April 16)
  • Recognizing the need to support the tourism industry’s quick recovery, the province announced $1 million towards expanded marketing. As well, the province is waiving the licensing, inspection and Tourism PEI advertising fees for the 2020 operating season. (April 16)