East Hants & Districts Chamber of Commerce Weekly Update

APRIL 30, 2020

Federal government announces rent assistance program details
Government of Canada announced Friday that the federal government has reached an agreement with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. 

  • The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments for April, May and June, that are payable by eligible small business tenants
  • Under the rent forgiveness agreement, the loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months and includes a term of no eviction during the agreement. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent.
  • Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily closed or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.

Provincial government adds Nova Scotia Credit Support Program
Last week, the province announced the Small Business Credit and Support Program as a temporary stream for access to credit, cash grants and support delivered from Chamber affinity partner CUA and participating credit unions. The program will be available starting Wednesday, April 29. The program will provide eligible applicants

  • A maximum loan amount of $25,000.
  • Upon approval businesses could receive a grant of up to $1,500.
  • There will also be a business continuity voucher of up to $1,500 to help hire a private consultant for advice.
  • 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 per cent in March or at least 30 per cent in April, May or June.
  • The package will be available until June 30th.
  • Applications will open here: www.honestmoney.ca

Nova Scotia schools and licensed day cares will remain closed until May 19th with a reassetment closer to that date.  

Premium Adjustments Due to COVID-19: 
As the coronavirus pandemic evolves, Chambers Plan continues working to assist member firms, providing flexibility and support in the areas most needed. Plan design modifications and benefit extensions during temporary employee layoffs, for example, have resulted in thousands of businesses keeping benefits in place for their employees when they may otherwise have been unable to do so.  The Chamber’s Plan has worked hard to provide savings to firms as quickly as possible, and are pleased to announce, they will provide the following credits, retroactive to April 1st, on your May billing: 
Dental: 50% premium reduction adjustment
Extended Health: 10% premium reduction adjustment

There is nothing for your members to do. These credits will be applied automatically. 


POSTPONED: Set Yourself Up for Success with an Ergonomic Home Office New date to be determined. 
Join us for a live and interactive webinar.
FREE for everyone; Members and Non-Members.
It is important to be set up your home space correctly to prevent injuries and for optimal wellness. On this webinar, you will learn who to use a typical at-home work space and transform it into a more healthy space.
Please RSVP here https://bit.ly/2RYhI98.

How to Grow Your Business Online Webinar
Join us virtually Monday, May 4th from 2-3pm 
Free for Members, Non-Members, and Future Members.

During this time of social distancing, learning how to pivot your business is crucial. This webinar is for those new to the world of online retail and will cover the necessary steps for setting up an e-commerce website. The webinar will highlight how to be innovative with your business, and lay the foundation for a well-optimized website. Topics will include setting up an e-commerce platform and basic search engine optimization (SEO).