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

  • Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) (website). Through partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), CUA is now offering government-guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs. HASCAP is now 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. The HASCAP Guarantee is available until December 31, 2021. Step 1: Apply here. Step 2: You will get a unique code emailed to you. Forward that code to your CUA Commercial Account Manager or Small Business Advisor. If you don’t have an advisor, contact the contact centre for help.

    Personalized Member Assistance. 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. There are options for businesses and organizations who have had their income affected by this situation, including access to new funds, interest-only payments, re-advancing credit if possible, and more. If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 and you are a member of CUA, please reach out to us to explore your options. Complete the short form at cua.com/letstalk and a member of our team will contact you as soon as they can
  • 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.

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).

  • COVID-19 Sick Leave Program (website): Nova Scotians who need to take time off work because of COVID-19 may qualify for up to four paid sick days. Workers who can’t work remotely and miss less than 50% of their scheduled work time in a one-week period due to COVID-19 may be eligible. This includes people who need to take time off because they’re waiting to get tested for COVID-19, self-isolating while waiting for test results, or going to get a vaccination. The four sick days do not need to be taken consecutively. The program will cover eligible sick days taken between May 10th and July 31st, 2021. Businesses can apply for reimbursement when an employee needs to take time off, while self-employed individuals can also apply. Applications open May 26th.  
    • 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 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. Businesses can apply here.

    • 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). 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).

      • 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 that was available until June 30, 2021. 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. Existing CEBA recipients can learn more about important deadlines here.

      • 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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