On April 16, the federal government announced a number of updates in support of Canadian businesses, expanding existing programs and creating new initiatives. See some highlights below, or read the Government of Canada’s full release from April 16, 2020.

Updated: Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

The range of businesses eligible for CEBA was widened to those who paid $20,000 and $1.5 million in 2019 payroll.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

Additionally, the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) was announced. Details are pending, but the intent is for the program to provide loan assistance to commercial property owners, which will be applied to lower or forgo the rent of small businesses in April, May and June.

“Top-up” Low-income Essential Workers

The Federal Government will now be working together with the provinces and territories to top-up the salaries of low-income essential workers through a new cost-sharing transfer program for those deemed essential. Through this new transfer, provinces and territories will be able to provide their low-income essential workers (those who earn less than $2,500 per month), with a top up. More details to come.


Small Business Impact Grant

Small businesses ordered to close or substantively curtail their operations under the COVID-19 public health order may be eligible for the Small Business Impact Grant. The one-time grant is equal to 15% of sales revenue from either April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000 per business. You can choose which month will be used to calculate the grant amount.  Click here to apply for the grant NOWPlease find the guidelines and criteria here.

Worker Emergency Bridge Fund

The Worker Emergency Bridge is a one-time payment of $1,000 for Nova Scotians who are laid off or out of work because of COVID-19, who don’t qualify for Employment Insurance. It can be combined with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Find out more details on this fund.

COVID-19 Rent Deferral Program

The COVID-19 Rent Deferral Support Program will indemnify qualified landlords for losses incurred as a result of granting a rent deferral to qualified businesses directly impacted by the Health Protection Act orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about commercial rent deferral here.

Additional Provincial Supports:


HRM Tax Deferral

Halifax Regional Council has voted to provide immediate relief to both residential and business customers. These efforts include:

Find out more about the deferral and other HRM service updates here.