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 (website). The Financial Assistance Program provides several possible options, including loan deferrals and access to new funds. Our team is working with existing businesses and organizations affected by COVID-19 to determine the best supports to help them through this challenging period. 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.
  • 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). A number of financial relief measures have been introduced to support CUA’s existing and new credit card holders impacted by COVID-19.

Municipal Government Program

Halifax Regional Council has approved changes to the tax system (website). Specifics include:

  • Bill Payments. The due date for the interim property tax bill has been changed from April 30, 2020 to June 1, 2020.
  • NSF Fees. Fees typically associated as the result of non-sufficient funds (NSF) have been temporarily suspended.
  • Interest Rates on Arrears. The annual interest rate charged on arrears has been decreased from 15% to 10%.

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).

  • Deferral of Government Loans. Deferred payments are available until June 30 for all government loans, including those under the Farm Loan Board, Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, Jobs Fund, Nova Scotia Business Fund, Municipal Finance Corp. and Housing Nova Scotia.
  • Deferral of Business Fees. Payment of a number of provincial program and service fees has been deferred until June 30, 2020. This includes workers’ compensation premiums and licence, permit, registration, renewal and service fees. A listing of the fees is available here.
  • Deferral of Nova Scotia Small Business Loan Guarantee Program (website). In order to provide short-term support to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, principal and interest payments can be deferred until June 30, 2020 for participants.
  • COVID-19 Small Business Credit and Support Program (website). For Nova Scotia entities impacted by COVID-19 who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Business Account, the Provincial government is supporting those with either no payroll or payroll less than $20,000 with a loan up to $25,000 through CUA and other community-based banking institutions. Learn more.
  • Small Business Impact Grant (website). A total of $20 million is available for small businesses, non-profits, charities and social enterprises who have had to close or reduce operations because of public health guidance may be eligible. The deadline for applications was April 25, 2020. Questions may be directed to
  • Worker Emergency Bridge Fund (website). A one-time payment of $1,000 for Nova Scotians who were laid off or out of work after March 16th, 2020 due to COVID-19. Eligibility includes individuals who don’t qualify for Employment Insurance and earn between $5,000 and $34,000. It can be combined with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and counts as taxable income. Applications for the Provincial Emergency Bridge Fund of $1,000 are available and require communication with a Red Cross Agent by telephone. Please click here for more details.
  • COVID-19 Rent Deferral Support Program (website). The provincial government has encouraged landlords to defer payment of commercial leases for three months and spread those payments over the remainder of the lease agreement. Landlords who enter into a rental deferral agreement with their eligible tenants will be able to claim losses of rental income. Guidelines can be accessed here. The deadline for landlords already registered for the Program to submit their application has been extended. In order to be included in the provincial guarantee, landlords then must send their full applications to the Department of Business by June 26 via

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).

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (website). Helping businesses keep and return workers to their payroll by providing a 75% 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% in March, and 30% 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.
  • 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy (website). This Subsidy for employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The Subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration employers pay from March 18 to June 19, 2020, to a maximum of $1,375 for each eligible employee to a maximum of $25,000 per employer. Eligible employers must have an existing business number and payroll program account with CRA on March 18, 2020.
  • 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.
  • Deferred income tax (website). All businesses are permitted to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. No interest or penalties will accumulate on those amounts during this period.
  • Deferred sales tax remittance (website). All businesses, including self-employed individuals, are permitted to defer payments of GST/HST, as well as customs duty owing on imports, until June 30, 2020.
  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) (website). The CEBA is an interest-free loan of $40,000 for qualifying businesses and not-for-profits. To qualify, organizations need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. Up to $10,000 of that amount will be eligible for complete forgiveness if $30,000 is fully repaid on or before December 31, 2022. The loan is interest free and no principal repayments are required during this period unless you are seeking to repay 75% to qualify for the 25% forgiveness feature. If not repaid by this date, it can be converted into a three-year term loan. Learn more and access the CEBA application process »
    • On May 19, 2020, the Government of Canada announced changes to the CEBA program that would expand the application criteria to allow businesses with payroll lower than $20,000 and eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million to apply. The federal government advised that further details, including the launch date for applications from businesses under the new criteria, will be announced soon. Once available, they will be added to this section.
  • Canada Summer Jobs Program (website). Temporary changes are being made to the Canada Summer Jobs Program to allow employers to receive an increased wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can receive up to 100% of the minimum hourly wage for each employee, extend the end date for employment to February 28, 2021, and hire staff on a part-time basis.
  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) (website) This program will lower rent by 75% for small businesses, non-profits and charitable organizations that have been impacted by COVID-19. It offers forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to cover 50% of three months of rent payable by eligible tenants experiencing financial hardship during April, May and June. The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce tenants’ rent by at least 75% for the three months under a rent forgiveness agreement that includes a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The tenant will cover the remaining rent, up to 25%. Impacted tenants are those paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or experienced at least a 70% drop from pre-COVID-19 revenues. Applications are available on the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s 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, will match 25 qualified companies with an advisor to help them manage and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The program is available until June 5, 2020. 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. If you are unable to get through the line due to the very high volume of calls at this time, please complete a brief online form. You will receive a reply within 24 hours.

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