Covid-19 Employer Support


The following sections contains up to date and useful information to answer any questions you may have. If you do not see the answers you require here, please feel free to email the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce for assistance.

As we plan for the future when businesses in Truro and Colchester will reopen, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be highly in demand.
The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce has compiled a list local businesses who are PPE, hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial cleaners. This list will continue to be updated daily with any new information we receive.
If you are selling the above items and would like to be added to this list email [email protected]

 

 

 

The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Truro Partnership have compiled a pdf spreadsheet of local Colchester businesses providing PPE. View the PPE in Truro and Colchester document.

 

 

 

If you missed the Business Reopening Sessions held by the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Truro Partnership, the Town of Truro and the Municipality of Colchester in late May, you can view the power point presentation 5 Ways to Reopen here.

 

 

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety – Recommended by government as a possible model for our business community, offers a number of tip sheets for various industries. These are excellent examples of what we all need to think about as restrictions are eased. There are 15 different industries with tip sheets. https://www.ccohs.ca/products/publications/covid19

 

 

 

Nova Scotia is preparing to reopen the province safely. As more businesses, organizations, services and public spaces reopen, we need to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep everyone safe. View the guidline released by the province here.

 

 

 

 

IGNITE is leading an online portal where industry can make PPE requests. They have two bilingual full time staff who are matchmaking requesters and manufacturers. View their website here: https://igniteatlantic.com/covid19/

 

 

 

 

Fredericton, New Brunswick has released a Reopening and Recovery Guide for Businesses and Organizations. You can view the guide here on the website of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

 

Planning for a New Normal – Considerations for Nova Scotia (This a national framework developed by Canada’s chief medical officers of health and public health advice to provinces and territories. This is not the Nova Scotia plan to re-open.) View the presentation here

 

 

 

Restaurants Canada has created a guide for reopening practices that those in the restaurant business will find useful. http://www.restaurantscanada.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/RC_COVID19_Reopening_BestPractices.pdf

 

 

 

 

The Retail Council of Canada has released  a comprehensive Retail recovery checklist for reopening.

 

 

 

Retail Council of Canada has produced a useful guide for storefronts that will need to rethink their business operations. See their guide and checklists here: https://www.retailcouncil.org/coronavirus-info-for-retailers/covid-19-recovery-planning/

 

 

 

 

As most economic reopening plans across Canada involve several phased-in stages stretching across weeks or months, a formidable challenge will be the availability of childcare and other social services as employees return to the workplace. The Canadian Business Resilience Network reopening guide for business includes information on the availability of these services. View their Toolkit for Reopening Canada’s Ecomomy.

 

 

 

 

Deloitte Dashboard – This is billed as a live look at Canada’s economy to prepare businesses for recovery. It is applicable to not-for-profits, charities and labour groups. It shows a significant amount of information in an easy to read manner. https://www2.deloitte.com/ca/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/covid-dashboard.html?icid=nav2_covid-dashboard

 

 

 

 

Build Right Nova Scotia – On this website you can download a Safety and Prevention Measures Guide and a fact sheet Guidance to Reduce Transmission of COVID-19. Build Right Nova Scotia are professional unionized tradespeople and contractors building offices, schools, hospitals, libraries, apartments, and other buildings across the province. The Build Right Nova Scotia team has created a guide for our Contractors and Tradespeople – “Safety and Prevention Measures Guide.” This was collaborative effort and were able to scan evolving best practices working along with Construction Safety NS, who engaged Public Health and an Infectious Control specialist. http://buildrightns.ca/
Other COVID resources for the construction sector, but also applicable to some other business sectors, are available at https://mainlandbuildingtrades.ca/blog/guidance-to-reduce-transmission-of-covid-19 and https://www.buildrightns.ca/news.html.

 

 

 

 

A Framework for Reopening our Province” lays out the Ontario government’s approach to the next chapter in the ongoing fight to defeat COVID-19 in. It outlines the principles the government will use to reopen businesses, services and public spaces in gradual stages. It also explains the criteria Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health will use to help advise the government on when it is safe to begin loosening public health restrictions.

 

 

 

To ensure you can fly with confidence, Air Canada has introduced “Air Canada CleanCare+“, an industry-leading program committed to end-to-end health and safety protocols.

 

 

 

 

View Public Health Phases and Triggers released by the Province of New Brunswick. This infographic shows the phased reopening of that province.

 

 

Medcan has released a checklist of considerations for a safe environment when reopening workplaces. View the Restarting the Canadian Economy pdf checklist.

 

 

 

 

A re-opening guide developed by the Event Safety Alliance, which is a good reference and interesting read to potentially help plan for re-opening. View the Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide pdf file.

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 Tool KitSafe Work Practices in The
Nova Scotia Construction Industry has released a guide retailing safe work practices on site. Vew the Safe Work Practices in the Nova Scotia Construction Industry.

 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: As a result of the tragedy that has affected the communities of Colchester County, Nova Scotia, Morneau Shepell has opened its 24/7 bilingual crisis support hotline to help anyone affected by the traumatic event. You can reach the free crisis support line at 1(844) 751-2133

Taking care of your Mental Health is no joke, but it CAN be a game! Download our Mental Health Bingo Card here: Mental Health Bingo

 

 

 

 

The Truro Chamber has compiled a list of ways that employers can support their employees mental health in a remote work environment. View the PDF here: Mental Health for Remote Workers

 

 

 

 

View our most recent B.Y.O.L. on Mental Health with guest speakers from Soul Space Counselling Therapy, Mindful Care Consulting, Transforming Tides Counselling and the Canadian Mental Health Association on our YouTube channel here

 

 

 

 

The Canadian Mental Health Association has supports for people coping with self-isolation and other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic

View them here.

The Government of Canada has prepared information to help you take care of your mental health during this COVID-19 outbreak.

 

 

 

 

The Chamber Benefits Plan has compiled some helpful Mental Health Resources here

 

 

 

 

A new virus like COVID-19 can create fear and anxiety. There are ways to manage your symptoms and get help if you need it. Learn more about protecting your mental health during COVID-19 from the Province of Nova Scotia.

 

 

 

 

Benefits Canada says employees across the country are facing a myriad of stressors right now, and it’s important during this time that we don’t let mental health support falter. Read more here.

Strategic Plan Session

Locally, the Truro & Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity has been supporting businesses in our region who would like one-on-one guidance to plan for the next 3 – 6 months of revenue losses. This includes guidance on navigating the available funding resources, preparing appropriately for forecasting cash flow impact(s) to your business and brainstorming on alternative revenue streams during the Covid-19 crisis.

We recognize that this is a time of great uncertainty for many in our community, particularly within our small business sector. Please feel free to reach out if you would like to speak with our Business Development Officer on any of the above supports.

Jason Steele

Business Development Officer

Cell: (902) 890-5095

email: [email protected]

 

 

 

 

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 [email protected]

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Virtual Training

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

 

 

 

 

For the most up-to-date and accurate information on programs and supports, please visit the:

Federal Economic Response Plan Website

 

 

 

 

Chambers Plan Update

We’re reaching out to provide you with some important information regarding your employee benefits with us under Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we want to do everything we can to provide you with essential information. We are all in this together and we’re committed to sharing information and supports as developments occur. The information below is accurate as of March 20, 2020, and please feel free to share it within your company.

READ MORE HERE

 

 

 

 

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/

 

 

 

 

Atlantic Chamber of Commerce

Atlantic Chamber Resources & Information

Atlantic Chamber has created COVID-19 Business Resource & Information

https://www.atlanticchamber.ca/covid-19-resources

 

 

 

 

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Resources

The Canadian Chamber has prepared a wide range of resources to assist business during the COVID-19 pandemic. They may be access here:

http://www.chamber.ca/resources/pandemic-preparedness/

5 things Business Need to Know Now

http://www.chamber.ca/media/blog/200323-covid-19-top-5-things-to-know/

 

 

 

 

USEFUL LINKS FOR BUSINESS RESOURCES

 

Labour & Advanced Education
https://novascotia.ca/lae

Legal Info Nova Scotia
https://www.legalinfo.org

Futureworx Nova Scotia
https://futureworx.ca/

Service Canada
https://www.canada.ca/…/corpo…/portfolio/service-canada.html

Employment Advisor Nova Scotia
http://oeans.ca

Please remember that up to date information regarding COVID-19 can also be found from the Nova Scotia Government at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus

 

 

 

 

Don’t miss any of the webinars hosted by the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce. Follow our YouTube Channel here.

BDC/EDC Webinar:COVID-19: Financing and support for business, Tuesday, May 5, 2020 2:00 p.m. ADT. Contact Tracy Beaver to Register for this Atlantic Chamber of Commerce event. Video conference coordinates will be sent to participants before the event. (Open to member and non-member businesses).

 

 

Tourism Nova Scotia Webinar Series to Navigate COVID-10 -To help the industry navigate the COVID-19 situation, Tourism NS is launching a weekly series of webinars that will provide technology tips to help businesses adapt and connect with potential customers.

 

 

Conference Board of Canada – Ongoing webinars for business – https://www.conferenceboard.ca

 

 

Deloitte’s Weekly Economics Update with Chief Economist Craig Alexander, and other webcasts can be found here.

 

 

Ipsos Canada President Mike Colledge, who will give you the most up to date analysis on what Canadians are thinking about COVID-19 every Monday at 8:15 am EST

G&G Computers is open and working Monday to Friday 8-5.

We can arrange for drop off for business only situational based.

Closed to the public for the time being

We can fix remotely Please call 902-843-3113 or email [email protected]

Business working from home?

We can provide 6 months Free Microsoft Teams license allowing Chats, Video conferencing, collaboration, online meetings and much more.

Office 365 available and fast to setup for cloud working.

 

Need your office phone system to work remotely we have temporary and permanent solutions?

Shipment of Refurbished Desktop and laptops have arrived and ready to help keep your employees working at home.

Grant Thornton has created a COVID-19 hub – Finding the way forward: Guiding businesses through coronavirus (COVID-19).

There are presently 8 articles providing practical and relevant guidance to helping in the most immediate situation. They will be adding more information and updating existing content as quickly as possible as the situation evolves. Advisory and tax teams across the country have pivoted and are focused on addressing the most immediate needs.   The Hub information is updated every few days.

 

What employers and employees need to know

Focus on what you can control

What to consider when facing a temporary closure

Federal Government announces measures to combat COVID-19

How an estate freeze can help

COVID-19:  Government and economic resources

Strategies to help businesses respond to COVID-19

Steps to manage cash flow and financial headwinds

 

MNP COVID-19 Business Advice Centre

Pathway through the Pandemic – Strategies and tools to lead your company through the coronavirus crisis

We are committed to helping our clients, team members and communities adapt to an evolving landscape being defined by the coronavirus pandemic. Your success and safety remain our priority – with relevant, up-to-date Canadian and international information, we’ll help you navigate through and be resilient in the face of this new normal.

Businesses can sign up for the newsletter to receive a daily notification of updates.

https://www.mnp.ca/en/covid-19

 

Here’s how to shore up your company’s response to COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak has been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization, causing huge impact on people’s lives, families and communities.

https://www.pwc.com/ca/en/covid-19.html

 

National Banks

Canadian Banks Support:
Banks Resource Page: https://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/business-consulting/canada-bank-releif-covid19/

 

Bank of Montreal (BMO)
The Bank of Montreal is allowing up to a six-month payment deferral on mortgages, loans, credit cards, and lines of credit with no fee (payment will be deferred but interest will continue to accrue) and no changes to the terms of your BMO account.

Those who are concerned about missing a payment are to sign into BMO Online Banking and send a request through the safe and secure Message Centre.
National Bank of Canada
• Like the other banks, the National Bank of Canada may offer payment deferrals of up to six months on mortgages, or longer amortization periods for both personal and commercial banking clients. Special loans to cover living expenses may also be available. Customers are asked to get in touch with their personal banking representative.

 

RBC Royal Bank
• For business clients:
− Waiving of credit card minimum payments.
− Business loan payment deferrals.
− Increases to operating line of credit limits.
− Waived fees for new enrollments to cash management solutions.

 

CIBC
As inquiries are at a higher volume than usual, CIBC is asking clients experiencing hardships to first complete a financial assistance form. They’ve expanded their dedicated call centre team with small business lending experts who are ready to assist small businesses with payment deferral and other measures. Support for their customers include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.

 

TD Bank
TD Bank customers who are directly impacted by COVID-19 and as a result are facing financial challenges such as illness, pay disruption, or childcare disruption due to school closures are to reach out to TD Bank at 1-888-720-0075. Support may include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages and the opportunity for relief on other credit products on a case-by-case basis.
Scotiabank
In order to get access to financial relief measures Business Banking customers connect with your Relationship Manager.
Support includes but is not limited to:
− Personal Loans or Auto Loans: On unsecured and secured term loans, you can defer payments for up to three months. If you choose to defer your payments, interest will continue to accrue, and three months of payments will be added at the end of your payment schedule. If you have an insured personal loan your insurance premium is not impacted. If you have an insured auto loan, your insurance premiums will be deferred as well, but your loan will continue to be insured during the deferral period.
− Lines of Credit: On unsecured and secured lines of credit, you can defer up to three months of minimum payments. If you choose to defer your payments, interest will continue to accrue and will be payable once the deferral period is over. If you have creditor insurance on your Line of Credit the overall payment, including your insurance premiums, will be deferred. Your Line of Credit will continue to be insured during the deferral period.
Briefing Note – Supports for Business by Government as of March 31, 2020 Page 7 of 7
− Mortgages: A mortgage deferral means that you will not be required to make regular payments on your mortgage for up to six months. During the time you defer your mortgage payments, interest will continue to accrue – so your payments will be slightly higher after the deferral period ends. You will pay more interest over the life of your mortgage, but a deferral will also help you with your short-term cash flow. If you have an insured mortgage, you will continue to be charged for your Scotia Mortgage Protection insurance premiums in order to maintain your coverage.
− Credit Cards: On secured and unsecured credit cards, you can defer your minimum payment for up to three months. If you choose to defer your payments, interest will continue to accrue on your outstanding balance and will be payable once the deferral period is over. If you have creditor insurance on your Credit Card the overall payment, including your insurance premiums, will be deferred. Your Credit Card will continue to be insured during the deferral period.

 

In a press release , Canada’s six largest banks have announced a coordinated relief program to ease financial pressures due to the spread of COVID-19.

Bank customers will be offered “flexible solutions” to get them through economic uncertainties due to COVID-19. COVID-19 relief measures will be offered to personal and small business banking customers and may include longer amortization periods, up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages and credit card payments.

https://cba.ca/canadian-banks-are-standing-by-canadians

 

 

 

 

WORKER EMERGENCY BRIDGE FUND

The Worker Emergency Bridge is a one-time payment of $1,000 for Nova Scotians who are laid off or out of work on or after March 16, 2020, because of COVID-19 and who don’t qualify for EI and earn between $5,000 and $34,000 a year.

 

The Worker Emergency Bridge can be combined with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and will help our most vulnerable workers and small business owners meet their basic needs as soon as possible.

 

Workers who are laid off will need to provide a Record of Employment, or if they were self employed, a 2018 tax return.  The toll-free phone line for the fund (1-800-863-6582) will be open starting at 8am on Friday, April 10.

 

 

 

 

NOVA SCOTIA SECURITIES COMMISSION LAUNCHES COVID-19 INVESTING INFORMATION WEBPAGE

The Nova Scotia Securities Commission has launched a new webpage and online video to provide COVID-19 investing information to the public.

 

The new webpage compiles all news, releases, notices and blanket orders issued to provide relief for a number of individuals or applicants from a regulatory requirement about COVID-19 by the commission, the Canadian Securities Administrators and the North American Securities Administrators Association.

 

The website can be found at https://nssc.novascotia.ca/covid19

 

 

 

 

UPDATED MARCH 31, 2020

As announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, BDC, Canada’s bank for entrepreneurs, and Export Development Canada (EDC), Canada’s export credit agency, will launch the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in additional lending.

 

The program will operate as follows:

  • Small and medium-sized businesses can get support through a new Co-Lending Program that will bring the BDC together with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to these businesses for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts up to $6.25 million, 80 per cent of which would be provided by BDC, with the remaining 20% by a financial institution.
  • EDC will also provide funding to financial institutions so that they can issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized businesses, as a result of a new domestic mandate enhancing EDC’s role in supporting Canadian businesses through COVID-19 crisis. These loans will be 80 per cent guaranteed by EDC, to be repaid within one year.
  • Eligible companies could obtain up to $12.5 million through these two lending streams.

 

To read the full press release, click here.

 

You can also click here in case you missed the previous press release presenting BDC’s additional relief measures.

 

 

__________________

BDC is taking additional measures to provide relief to Canadian entrepreneurs during these difficult times. These include:

  • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to six months for qualifying businesses;
  • Postponement of payments for up to six months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less;
  • Reduced rates on new eligible loans;
  • Additional details regarding Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) measures, including industry specific support, to be announced in the coming days.

To read the full press release, click here.

 How do I access BCAP?

  • Businesses seeking support through BCAP should first contact their financial institutions for an assessment of their situation.
  • Financial institutions will refer to EDC and BDC their existing clients whose needs extend beyond what is available through the private sector alone.
  • Existing BDC clients should reach out to their account manager for additional information.

Why banks first?

  • Canada’s six biggest banks have made a commitment to work with small business customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through these challenges.
  • Banks have a longstanding history of standing by Canadians through challenging times, like now.
  • BDC complements the work of Canada’s private-sector financial institutions, with whom we work closely.

Why is it taking so long?

  • We are receiving an unprecedented volume of requests. We understand the urgency of the situation and have mobilized all BDC teams to respond as quickly as possible.

We encourage you to share this valuable information with your colleagues and clients.

bdc.ca

 

 

 

 

DEFERRED FEES

Government has deferred fees from 10 departments to offer some help around payment pressure.  Fees include business renewal fees, permits, and licenses and will be deferred until June 30.  A searchable database will be posted at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/fees on Friday, April 10.  Additionally, Workers Compensation premiums have been deferred, representing an additional $60m that can stay in the hands of businesses as we navigate the next several months.

 

 

 

 

Information on the Business Continuity Voucher program offered by NSBI.

 

 

 

 

How we’re working to protect the safety of our team, customers and service

As we face this unprecedented time of uncertainty, I wanted to personally express that we care deeply about doing everything in our power to support you. As a company with deep roots in communities across the country, I am inspired by the strength and energy of our neighbours.

 

READ MORE HERE

 

The health and safety of our customers
and team members is a priority.

At Bell, we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and putting in place measures to protect the health and safety of the public and our team members.

As the leading provider of communications services to Canadians, we are dedicated to delivering a reliable and high-quality connection that consumers, businesses and governments can rely on. That is why we’ve put in place the people and the resources necessary to continue to deliver these services for Canadians throughout the COVID-19 situation.

As the situation evolves, we will keep you informed of any developments right here.

READ MORE HERE

 

Nova Scotia Power Statement

March 23, 2020

We are in uncertain and unprecedented times. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves each day, we’re evolving too. Our promise and responsibility is to provide you with safe and reliable electricity every day. That will not change.

Our team has been working on pandemic planning since early this year. We’re prepared and we’re ready.

 

READ MORE HERE