COVID-19 Community Sector Update – April 27

A number of new programs and updates concerning previously announced programs were announced over the last several days. These include the:

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

The PM announced the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program on Friday.

This is an optional program designed to lower rent by 75 per cent for small business tenants paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations, or have experienced at least a 70-per-cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues.

More information is available here. What follows is a summary:

  • CECRA will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 percent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.
  • The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent.
  • Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations

This afternoon the Premier confirmed Nova Scotia’s participation in this CECRA program.

COVID-19 Small Business Credit and Support Program

Participating provincial Credit Unions are administering the COVID-19 Small Business Credit and Support Program. The program includes a loan, a grant, and business advice and support.

The loan application will be available from 29 April to 30 June 2020. Eligible applicants may receive a loan of up to $25,000.

Those approved for the loan, will also be eligible for:

  • a one-time grant of up to $1,500
  • a business continuity voucher of up to $1500 – the voucher gives businesses access to professional advice and support to help adapt to or recover from the effects of COVID-19. The voucher program is administered by Nova Scotia Business Inc. and will be available until 29 May 2020. Projects funded by the program must be completed by 3 July 2020.

COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations

The Fund will be administered by Canadian Heritage with the support of its partners.This Fund will provide $500 million to help address the financial needs of affected organizations within these sectors so they can continue to support artists and athletes.

Support will be provided in a manner consistent with other COVID-19 supports such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

The Fund will help to:

  • mitigate the financial pressure experienced by businesses and organizations to allow them to continue their operations, including paying their employees;
  • support projects by businesses, organizations and communities to prepare now for a successful recovery.

 The Fund is divided into two components.

  • The Government of Canada is providing $675 million to support the work of Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), and the businesses and workers they help. This will enable the RDAs to provide equivalent bridge financing support to businesses unable to access the government’s broader support measures.
  • In response to the effect that COVID-19 may have on rural communities and businesses, the government is also providing $287 million for the Community Futures Network, funded through the RDAs, to support rural businesses and communities, including through access to capital.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is the RDA covering Nova Scotia. Applicants are encouraged to contact their ACOA program officer. Those without a Program Officer should please send an email to the following address: ACOA’s website indicates that an ACOA official will contact you within 48 hours to address your inquiry.

More information concerning the RRRF is available here.

Up-to-date information on the available Provincial Measures and how they impact Nonprofit & Voluntary Organizations

We have been tracking all of the measures which the government has announced in order to determine which programs affect Nonprofit & Voluntary organizations in our province and how organizations in our sector can take advantage of those programs which they are eligible.

View that chart below for the latest updates!