Department of Finance announces Canada Emergency Response Benefit

COVID-19 eBlast graphics

Recent announcements concerning the impact of COVID-19 will be of interest to the sector.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit:

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) announced March 25 will provide up to $2,000 a month for “full-time, contract or self-employed” workers. This program replaces two previously announced programs, the emergency support benefit and the emergency care benefit. The portal for accessing the CERB would be available in early April.

Canadians would begin to receive their CERB payments within 10 days of application. The CERB would be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.

More information is available via this link:


Health Protection Act (Nova Scotia)

In March 24, the province issued the Health Protection Act Order

You can find it here –


Rent Deferral Agreement

The ability of many businesses and the cultural sector to generate revenue has been negatively impacted by the recent Order and they are left wondering how they will pay their bills. Government is encouraging landlords to defer rent for their tenants.  A form for the rent deferral agreement program is linked here. The form as presented defers rent for April, May and June and spreads it over the remaining period of the lease commencing on July 1st, 2020.

NOTE: The Province has 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

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 .

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.

The province continues to ask landlords and retail and commercial tenants to work together to find a solution that works for both sides.


Government Business Navigators

Our Business Navigators are available to help you with any questions you may have.  Find out more about the service at

They can be reached Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm at 1-844-628-7347 , 902-424-4475 or by email


Atlantic Compassion Fund

Managed by the United Way Halifax in collaboration with 10 United Ways throughout Atlantic Canada, the Atlantic Compassion Fund has been established to support community agencies and the people they serve who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Fund will help meet basic needs, reduce the impact of further marginalization, and bring people back together when the time is right.

Since launching mid last week, the Fund has distributed $100,000 to agencies in HRM with another $100,000 being readied for approval and distribution this week. The UW is working closely with the province and other partners so this program supports, fills gaps and complements other efforts rather than unintentionally duplicating efforts.

For more information, or to make a donation, visit 


Useful Resources


  • This post has been updated on March 26, 2020 at 2:15pm to include a new version of the Rent Deferral Agreement form with instructions. - CSCNS Team
  • This post has been updated on March 31, 2020 at 8:34am to include new information and clarifications on the Rent Deferral Program.- CSCNS Team