Supports for Businesses and Community Organizations

COVID-19 Related Resources for NS Businesses
CUA continues to monitor the programs and resources being made available to businesses and community organizations in response to COVID-19. Updates to government programs are continuing to occur and we will ensure to place the most current information available on this page.

CUA Programs

  • Financial Assistance Program. Since the onset of COVID-19, our team has been working with members on a case-by-case basis to determine the best supports to help them through this period. The Financial Assistance Program provides options for businesses and organizations who have had their income affected by this situation, including access to new funds. If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 and you are a member of CUA, please reach out to your account manager to discuss your options. We are here to help.
  • Benefits for Halifax Chamber of Commerce members (website). CUA is proud to be an Affinity Partner of the Chamber. Chamber members have access to a variety of banking solutions and preferred rates, including six months of waived account package fees for new business accounts.
  • SONA Merchant Solutions (website). CUA continues to partner with SONA, a leader in payment processing solutions, to offer you easy and affordable merchant processing programs to meet today’s consumer demands. In addition to their everyday competitive pricing and tailored approach, SONA has taken the following steps to further support businesses during this period, including waiving setup fees and suspending monthly fees for e-commerce gateway. For details on SONA’s relief offerings, download their COVID-19 Merchant Survival Toolkit.
  • Support for CUA Credit Card Holders (website). CUA's credit card provider, Collabria, is committed to supporting your needs during this challenging time. If you are experiencing credit card related financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic please call their Contact Centre at 1-855-341-4643 and they will work with you to discuss how they may be able to help you.

Municipal Government Program

  • Spring into Summer Grant program (website): The Spring Garden Area Business Association (SGABA) has provided support to help its members get ready for summer. This grant will subsidize the cost of freshening up storefronts and patios for the summer with a maximum grant of $500.00. The grant is available to businesses that are categorized as retail, food and beverage, personal care, retail services, attractions, and accommodations. To be eligible, the business needs to belong to one of the following associations: North End Business Associations (NEBA), Spring Garden Area Business Association (SGABA), Spryfield Business Commission (SBC), or Quinpool Road Mainstreet District Association (QRMDA). Additional details, as well as an online application, can be accessed via the program website. The deadline to apply is Friday, May 21, 2021

Provincial Government Programs

The Province of Nova Scotia has announced a number of programs to support businesses and community organizations. A description of each is listed below and additional information can be obtained by accessing (website).

  • Tourism Accommodations Real Property Tax Rebate Program Part 2 (website): This program provides qualified operators with a 50 per cent rebate on the first six months of commercial property tax paid in 2021-22. Operators who received payments under the first Tourism Accommodations Real Property Tax Rebate Program will be automatically eligible if they still own the property. Businesses applying for this program must meet the definition of a roofed accommodation as set out in the Tourist Accommodation Registration Act, be registered as a host under the act, have more than five rooms available to rent, not be in arrears of property taxes or property tax installment payments and have experienced a year-over-year revenue loss of at least 30 per cent from April 1 to Oct. 31, 2020. To apply, visit the Tourism Nova Scotia website.

  • Small Impact Business Grant Part 3 (website): The grant provides up to $5,000 for Nova Scotia businesses directly affected by the April 2021 restrictions. Eligible businesses will receive a one-time grant of 15 per cent of their sales revenue for the month of April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000. To be eligible, businesses must have experienced an average monthly revenue decrease of 30 per cent or more for the period of March 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021 compared to the same time the previous year or expect at least a 30 per cent decrease in revenues in May 2021 resulting from the restrictions introduced in April. An email about next steps will be sent to previous recipients of a Small Business Impact Grant in eligible business sectors with instructions on how to apply. For businesses established after March 15, 2020, the grant amount will be calculated as 15 per cent of the sales revenue for any month from April 2020 to March 2021. Applications for businesses that did not receive a previous Small Business Impact Grant will be available by May 19.

  • Small Business Real Property Tax Rebate Program (website): The Provincial Government has extended the previously announced rebate program to further help the service sector with COVID-19 shutdowns. This program will be available to gym and fitness establishments, hair salons and barber shops, spas, nail salons, body art establishments, restaurants offering in-person dining service and bars and licensed drinking establishments. Eligible businesses can receive a one-time rebate of a portion of their paid property taxes. They can choose a rebate of $1,000 or 50 per cent of the commercial real property taxes paid for the final six months of the 2020-21 tax year. To be eligible businesses must be recipients of previous Small Business Impact Grants (part 1 or 2), have experienced a year-over-year decline in revenues of at least 30 per cent for the period April 30, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021, or have started operations on or after Jan. 1, 2020. Applications will open the week of May 10.

  • Commercial Property Tax Relief for Owners of Hotels, Motels and Inns (NS Government News Release): The Provincial Government has announced a new $7.3 million program to support hotel, motel and inn operators who have been affected by the pandemic. The Tourism Accommodations Real Property Tax Rebate Program Part 2 provides qualified operators with a 50 percent rebate on payment of the first six months of their 2021-22 commercial property tax. This one-time payment will help ease the stress felt by operators resulting from the restrictions. Operators can use the rebate for any aspect of their business, such as hiring staff. Those who received payments under the first Tourism Accommodations Real Property Tax Rebate Program are automatically eligible. Businesses must meet the definition of a roofed accommodation as set out in the Tourist Accommodation Registration Act, be registered as a host under the act, have more than five rooms, not be in arrears of property taxes or property tax installment payments and have experienced a year-over-year revenue loss of at least 30 percent from April 1 to October 31, 2020.

  • NS Small Business Credit and Support Program (NS Government News Release). Launched in late April, the Program supported qualifying Nova Scotia entities impacted by COVID-19 with: 1. access to credit up to $25,000 through participating credit unions; 2. a one-time non-repayable cash grant of 10 percent of the loan amount to a maximum of $1,500; and, 3. a Business Continuity Voucher of a maximum of $1,500 to support the acquisition of a private sector consultant for assistance in adapting or recovering from the impact of COVID-19.  Applications to the Program are now closed as the funds have been fully accessed. The Province of Nova Scotia has postponed payments of principle and interest amounts until January 1, 2021, subject to conditions. If you have questions about your financing, please contact us. The Nova Scotia Small Business Loan Guarantee Program remains available to qualifying businesses.
     

Federal Government Programs

The Federal Government has announced a number of programs to support businesses and community organizations. A description of each is listed below and additional information can be obtained by accessing (website).

    • Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) (website). The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with participating financial institutions to offer government-guaranteed, low-interest loans of up to $1 million. HASCAP is available to businesses across Canada, in all sectors, that have been affected by the pandemic. This includes restaurants, businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors, and those that rely on in-person service. Eligible businesses can apply starting on February 1 at principal financial institutions and more widely by February 15.
    • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) (website). The Program will provide additional support to businesses including small and medium-sized enterprises with viable business models whose access to financing would otherwise be restricted. The Program is administered through Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). The BCAP is currently available and interested businesses can access application details through their financial institution.
    • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) (website). The CEBA is an interest-free loan for qualifying businesses and not-for-profits, including a feature of loan forgiveness. The loan is interest free and no principal repayments are required during this period unless you are seeking to repay the minimum amount to qualify for the forgiveness feature. If not repaid by this date, it can be converted into a term loan. Learn more and access the CEBA application process »
    • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (website). The Program provides direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage support directly to tenants and property owners. Qualifying business, charities and non-profits will receive a subsidy of up to 65% of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. Claims can be made retroactively to September 27, 2020, and support will be available until June 2021. Applications are available here.
      • Lockdown Support – Additionally, qualifying organizations that have been significantly impacted by mandatory public health orders can receive an additional 25% though the Program. This means that heavily impacted businesses could receive support of up to 90%. This Lockdown Support will be available until June 2021.
    • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (website). Helping businesses keep and return workers to their payroll by providing a 75 percent wage subsidy (to a max of $847 weekly) to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020. Eligibility is determined by a demonstrated drop in gross revenues of at least 15 percent in March, and 30 percent in April and May as compared to the same timeframe in 2019 or to the average monthly revenue for January and February 2020. Eligible employers can apply through CRA’s My Business Account portal.
      • November 2020: The Government of Canada has announced the Wage Subsidy will be extended until June 2021. 
    • CanExport SMEs Program (Website). Founded in 2016, the CanExport SMEs program has changed to support eligible small businesses with up to $75,00 to help develop and expand their e-commerce presence, attend virtual trade shows and navigate new COVID-19 related trade barriers. Businesses can apply here.
    • Deferred income tax (website). The CRA further extended the payment due date for 2019 individual tax returns and 2019 or 2020 corporation, or trust returns, as well as for instalment payments, from September 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020.
    • Deferred tax arrears interest (website). The CRA waived arrears interest on existing tax debts related to individual, corporation, and trust income tax returns from April 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020 and from April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020, for GST/HST returns.
    • Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) (website). The Government of Canada has provided additional support for small and medium-sized businesses experiencing financial hardship. This support is distributed by Canada’s regional development agencies, including $110 million allocated to Atlantic Canada through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Atlantic Association of Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs). To be eligible, businesses must have applied for other federal relief measures and were not been able to secure funds, or have accessed relief measures and continue to experience hardship. RRRF contributions are repayable as of January 1, 2023. Additional details, as well as an online application, can be accessed via the program website.

    Halifax Partnership Resources

    • Halifax Partnership’s Program Assessment Tool (website). The Halifax Partnership has created an easy-to-use Program Assessment Tool that helps you navigate the funding and support programs available to your business and employees. The tool can assist you in determining which programs you are eligible for and provides guidance on how to access them.
    • Virtual Advisor Program (website). This free program, offered in partnership with BoomersPlus.com, will match 25 qualified companies with an advisor to help them manage and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Businesses can apply through the Partnership’s website.
    • Connector Program (website). This program provides businesses access to a pool of individuals looking for employment, while also matching employers to people looking for work in their sector. An online portal for both businesses and workers has been developed and can be found on the Partnership’s website.
    If you have questions about the available programs and the best solution to meet your unique needs, please reach out to us at 902-492-6500. You can also send us a message using our online submission form and we will respond to you within 24 hours.
     

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