Government Updates and Business Supports



Financial Support

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers unsecured, forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to:

To learn more and to apply, please click here.

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

The Government of Canada has established a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to provide $65 billion of additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). BDC and EDC are working with private-sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation, exportation and tourism. This program includes:

Canada Emergency Business Account:

The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019.


Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises:

EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.


Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises:

BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program.



The Small Business Loan Guarantee Program 

The Small Business Loan Guarantee Program is a joint initiative of the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council, Atlantic Central, local participating credit unions, and the Province of Nova Scotia, designed to deliver financial assistance for the start-up and expansion of small businesses. The Small Business Loan Guarantee Program supports provincial business owners with creating and maintaining rewarding careers for Nova Scotians each year.


Support for Businesses

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund: COVID-19 (RRRF)

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency launched a Regional Relief and Recover Fund (RRRF.) Businesses and organizations that are unable to access other existing measures can apply for the fund through ACOA.

For more information about this fund, please click here. 

For the application, please click here.


Stingray Stimulus Plan
Stingray, is giving away (no strings attached) $15 million dollars of advertising grants to businesses and non profits. They range from $1000 - $100000 and do not need to be repaid and no buy of media is required.

It’s is Stingray's way of helping the community and there is local dollars for Pictou county.
For the press release, please click here.

To apply, please click here.


The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: Government of Canada Program 

On March 27 the Government of Canada made an announcement with several new supports for Canadian businesses, including the increase of the previously announced 10% wage subsidy to 75%, to be backdated to March 15, 2020. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is designed to allow employers to keep employers on the payroll, or to rehire those who have been laid-off already.

Applications will be facilitated through an online portal with the CRA. Details will be shared once they are available.



The Small Business Impact Grant: Province of NS Program 

The Province of Nova Scotia has announced a program to aid citizens and businesses affected by the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. 20 million will be used to fund a new program, the Small Business Impact Grant. Eligible small businesses and social enterprises will receive a grant of 15 per cent of their revenue from sales — 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. More details will be announced at a later time.



The Province of Nova Scotia has made a number of announcements to help Nova Scotia businesses as they deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

Government loan payments deferral — until June 30, 2020

Includes loans under the Farm Loan Board, Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, Jobs Fund, Nova Scotia Business Fund, Municipal Finance Corp. and Housing Nova Scotia.


Small Business Fees Deferral — until June 30, 2020

Includes business renewal fees and workers compensation premiums (a complete list of fees will be posted in the coming days).


Small Business Loan Guarantee Program payments deferral — until June 30, 2020

Deferring principal and interest payments and enhancing the program to make it easier for businesses to access credit up to $500,000. For those who might not qualify for a loan, government will guarantee the first $100,000.


Faster payments to small business

Small businesses which do business with the Province of Nova Scotia to be paid within five days of invoicing.


Internet Access

Additional $15 million as an incentive to providers to speed up projects under the “Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative” to projects as soon as possible.


Support For Employees & Individuals

Tool Developed by the Office of Sean Fraser Member of Parliament for Central Nova: 

They have created a step-by-step guide for constituents during the COVID-19 pandemic to find out which benefits they qualify for and how to apply with The Government of Canada.

To find the tool to help determine the benefit you qualify for, please click here.


Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) - Government of Canada Program 

The Government of Canada has announced details on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This program will provide $500 per week (up to 16 weeks) for those who have lost income due to COVID-19.

This program is a revision from previous announcements and combines two previously announced programs; the emergency support benefit and the emergency care benefit. Details on how and when to apply are available through an online portal on the Government of Canada website.



Worker Emergency Bridge Fund - Province of Nova Scotia Program  

The Province of Nova Scotia has announced a program to aid citizens and businesses affected by the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. The $20 million Worker Emergency Bridge Fund will 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. More details will be announced at a later time.



Contact your Financial Institution

Canadian banks have committed to work with their customers on a case-by-case basis to find solutions to help them manage hardships caused by COVID-19. Canadians who are impacted by COVID-19 and experiencing financial hardship as a result should contact their financial institution regarding flexibility for a mortgage deferral. This allows flexibility to be available − when needed − to those who need it the most.



Canada Mortage and Housing Corporation

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has compiled a thorough Frequently Asked Questions list around understanding Mortgage Payment Deferral for Canadian homeowners. Homeowners facing financial stress may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral up to 6 months to help ease the financial burden and application can be made at any time during this outbreak.



Updates from the PCREN 

June 18, 2020: FAQ about new gathering limits

April 7, 2020: COVID-19 Updates for Businesses

March 31, 2020: Commercial Rent Deferral Program

March 27, 2020: COVID-19 Updates for Businesses

March 18, 2020: COVID-19 Updates for Businesses

The below are supports that are available to the business community and individuals. If you have any questions, please email us at

Stay Informed

As business leaders, it’s our collective responsibility to continue to monitor developments around COVID-19. We encourage you to scan the following official sources to keep up to date.


Local Supports