COVID-19: More Government Support for Workers and Businesses

On April 2, 2020, government announced two new programs valued at an estimated $40 million to further support small businesses and workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

COVID 19 Worker Emergency Bridge – for workers ($20 million)

Nova Scotians have a long and proud history of helping each other in tough times. For some workers, Covid-19 has meant job losses and lay-offs and trouble paying bills and meeting basic needs like food and shelter. While we already have programs in place to help many people in need, we want to prevent others from falling through the cracks.  

The Worker Emergency Bridge will help people who are no longer working and need help as soon as possible. Nova Scotians laid off or out of work on or after March 16, 2020 due to Covid-19, and ineligible for Employment Insurance, are eligible for a one-time, $1,000 payment to help them meet their basic needs. 

Eligibility for the program is not affected by a person or business being enrolled in another provincial program or the federal initiatives. For example, this can be combined with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).  .

Application portal will be available later next week.

Those eligible for Employment Insurance are not eligible for this program.

Small Business COVID 19 Impact Grant – for employers ($20 million)

Small businesses are highly valued in Nova Scotia. Their recovery from interruptions caused by Covid-19 is important for our economy and our communities. Small businesses ordered to close or with operations substantially curtailed by the Public Health orders can access support through the new Small Business Sustainability Grant.

This flexible, onetime, upfront grant can be used by the business owner as they determine, for their business to weather this unprecedented period. 

Eligible small business can receive a grant of up to 15 per cent of their revenue from sales for either February 2020 or April 2019, at the option of the business owner, to a maximum of $5,000 per enterprise.

The Covid 19 Small Business Impact Grant can be combined with all other federal and provincial support for small business. 

Application portal will be available later next week.

Role of Dalhousie University

The province has partnered with Dalhousie University’s and its Faculty of Management so the university can implement the two programs announced today – the Small Business COVID 19 Impact Grant program and the COVID-19 Worker Emergency Bridge.

Dalhousie and its partners in post secondary education throughout NS are well positioned to provide expertise and extra capacity during these unprecedented times. 

There will be accountability and government oversight through a Contribution Agreement.