NS Department of Business March 30th, 2020 COVID-19 Update
EMPLOYER ASSESSMENT TOOL
We have heard businesses and non-profits need clarity on how they can comply with the Public Health Order. An on-line tool to quickly help employers determine if they may remain open, in compliance with current workplace safety requirements, has been posted to the provincial coronavirus website.
You can find the assessment tool here: https://covid19-employer-assessment.novascotia.ca/en
COVID-19 SMALL BUSINESS RENTAL DEFERRAL GUARANTEE PROGRAM
We’ve listened to businesses and have removed the requirement of tenant businesses to have 5 or more employees to be eligible for the program. The revised guidelines are online and there is no employee minimum to be eligible https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/#support
Rental deferral agreements must be in place by April 1 and you must register your intent with the Department of Business by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 3, by emailing NSRentDeferral@novascotia.ca .
By April 30, 2020, the landlord must submit an application to the Department of Business which will include an application form and a copy of the deferral agreement. Each landlord will be contacted directly by the Department.
We continue to ask landlords and retail and commercial tenants to work together to find a solution that works for both sides.
This is not a stand alone program; the provincial government will be announcing more supports for businesses in the coming days that complement federal programming.
CHANGES TO REGISTRY OF JOINT STOCK
All Registry of Joint Stock Company (RJSC) renewals due in March, April and May 2020 have been extended to June 30, 2020. Name reservations, sole proprietorship and partnership registrations and annual renewals can be completed online at https://accesstobusiness.snsmr.gov.ns.ca/a2…/portal/home.jsf
Counter service is not available at this time. The Business Registration Unit, located on 6 North in the Maritime Centre, 1505 Barrington Street, Halifax, will have a drop box in the building lobby for deliveries of documents for processing. Drop boxes are in place at Access Nova Scotia Centre locations in Yarmouth, Kentville, Bridgewater, Dartmouth, Amherst, Stellarton and Sydney to receive RJSC deliveries and will be delivered to the Maritime Centre for processing.
During this period, scanned copies of originally signed documents or digitally signed documents where the digital signature information is clearly readable when the document is printed, will be accepted. These scanned or digitally signed documents may be submitted via email to RJSC@novascotia.ca.
The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society has issued updated information concerning the client identification rules, as well as taking affidavits and oaths with non-face-to-face means that you will have to consider. That information can be found at https://nsbs.org/covid-19-questions.
Emails containing a credit card number is automatically blocked for security reasons. Please provide a phone number of a contact person from whom to obtain the relevant credit card information to complete payment. Contact the RJSC directly at 902-424-7770 or 1-800-225-8227 with any questions.
NOVA SCOTIA TENDER NOTICES
Are you a business that can supply products and service in support of Nova Scotia’s response to COVID-19? If so, we want to hear from you. A procurement portal has been developed and includes a list of products and services we’re looking for. For more information, visit https://procurement.novascotia.ca/ns-tenders.aspx
The federal government announced new measures. Look here for updates – https://www.canada.ca/…/resources-for-canadian-businesses.h…
PROVINCIAL SUPPORTS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
The provincial government has announced several initiatives to address cash flow and access to credit for small and medium sized businesses in Nova Scotia:
• Payment deferrals until June 30 on 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.
• Fees, including business renewal fees and workers compensation premiums, will be deferred. A list of applicable fees will be posted online this week.
• Changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, administered through 15 provincial Credit Unions, include deferring principal and interest payments until June 30.
• Other changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program include enhancing the program to make it easier for businesses to access credit up to $500,000. For new loans, the first $100,000 will be fully guaranteed by the province. Other changes to this program will be announced soon.
Provincial website: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/
Follow the Department of Business on Twitter – @NS_DoB
To watch today’s (and previous) live webcasts visit: https://www.youtube.com/playlist…
Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus
Government of Canada toll-free information line 1-833-784-4397
Government Business Navigators: More information on this service is available https://novascotia.ca/regulatoryopp…/business-navigators.asp. Navigators are available by calling or 1-844-628-7347 , 902-424-4475 Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm, or by email BusNavigation@novascotia.ca