March 24, 2020
Canada: Atlantic provinces to implement economic assistance
Atlantic provinces and related regional development agencies are in the process of implementing assistance to businesses and employees impacted by the current economic downturn resulting from global health concerns. These measures are in addition to those announced in the Federal Government’s 18 March 2020 Economic Response Plan – see EY Global Tax Alert, Canada announces Economic Response Plan, dated 23 March 2020 for more details on the federal Economic Response Plan.
Regional development agencies
Businesses impacted by the current economic disruption are strongly encouraged by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) to contact officials at their local ACOA office:
New Brunswick has formed an all-party cabinet committee to help address current economic dislocation and work towards longer-term solutions for the business community. At the time of writing, the Province had not finalized any measures, but it is currently working with financial institutions and the Federal Government to coordinate support for small businesses and employees. Impacted businesses are encouraged to reach out to their local Opportunities NB office or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, WorkSafeNB is deferring premiums for businesses for three months.
The Province has announced that every individual and family member on income assistance will receive an additional CA$50,1 starting 20 March 2020, to help pay for food, cleaning supplies and personal items.
In a news release on 20 March 2020, Nova Scotia announced that it will provide $161 million in cash and credit for small and medium-sized businesses. The measures include the following:
Prince Edward Island (PEI)
Emergency income relief for the self-employed
Individuals are eligible to receive emergency income relief of up to $500/week for the period of 16 March 2020 to 29 March 2020 if they meet the following conditions:
Applications for the program are currently available online. While relief is currently available only for financial losses incurred during the period of 16 March to 29 March, the Province has indicated it will review this period as necessary.
Emergency working capital financing
The Province has introduced a loan program to provide emergency working capital financing to PEI small businesses affected by the current economic disruption. A business that meets the following conditions may apply for financial assistance:
An eligible business may receive a loan of up to $100,000, bearing a fixed 4% annual interest rate. Repayments will commence 12 months after first disbursement, and the business is required to pay the balance over the following five years. A loan may be secured by a promissory note for the loan’s full amount, the personal guarantee of the business owner (or owners), and a general security agreement.
An eligible business must submit an application to Finance PEI along with the following supporting documentation:
Loan proceeds will be disbursed on an as-needed basis, through multiple advances with supporting documentation. There is no application fee.
In a news release dated 18 March 2020, the Province announced the following support measures:
Details will be provided at a later date.
Newfoundland and Labrador
No measures have been announced at this time, but the Province is coordinating with the Federal Government.
For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:
Ernst & Young LLP (Canada), Halifax
Ernst & Young LLP (Canada), Montréal