Funding Supports for Business & Individuals

Financial Help and Social Supports

Domestic abuse support

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse, you’re not alone. Support, guidance and shelter are available throughout the province.

If you’re in immediate danger, call 911.

If you need help or information about emergency shelter, safety planning and available resources, call the 24-hour toll-free line at 1-855-225-0220. You can also find community resources at 211 Nova Scotia (or call 211).

Federal support for individuals

The Government of Canada has funding and resources available for individuals, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Helpline

If you need non-emergency, non-medical help, call 211 or visit ns.211.ca. 211 is a toll-free helpline that connects you to community and social services in your area. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (in over 140 languages).

If you're accepting help from someone you don't know, remember to protect your own privacy and safety and follow these tips.

Income assistance support

There are extended hours for the toll-free line for income assistance supports, including weekends. If you have questions about eligibility for income assistance, call:

Hours of operation Phone number

Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Toll-free: 1-877-424-1177
Monday to Friday 4:30 pm to 7 pm
Saturday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Toll-free: 1-833-722-1417

Mental health and wellbeing

A new virus like COVID-19 can create fear and anxiety. There are ways to manage your symptoms and get help if you need it. Learn more: mental health and wellbeing support.

Pharmacare changes

The Government of Nova Scotia is covering additional dispensing fees for Pharmacare (drug coverage) program prescription refills. This covers the extra fees for prescriptions that are usually filled for longer periods and are now only being filled for 30 days at a time. Government is also waiving the $5.00 prescription co-pay for people in the Income Assistance Program and the Low Income Pharmacare for Children Program.

Red Cross Friendly Calls Program

The Friendly Calls Program provides pre-scheduled calls to individuals who are feeling isolated due to the pandemic. Callers are trained in a variety of areas, including psychological first aid. Callers can also help connect you with other support services available in your community.

Anyone 19 or older can register for the program by calling 1-833-729-0144, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Red Cross will arrange to call you at a mutually agreed time, in English or French.

Student loan payments suspended

Nova Scotia Student Loan payments are suspended until 30 September 2020. You don't need to make any payments, and your loans won't accrue interest. The suspension is automatic – you don't need to apply.

Support for businesses

Agriculture Response Program

The COVID-19 Agriculture Response Program helps Nova Scotia's agriculture industry mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry's competitiveness, productivity and profitability.

Business support website

Business support during COVID-19 provides education, training and guidance for small businesses. Community innovation leads at NSCC help connect businesses with support programs available from post-secondary institutions and other regional organizations.

Federal support for businesses

The Government of Canada has funding and resources available for businesses and industries.

Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

The Small Business Loan Guarantee Program is available for qualifying businesses.

NSBI’S BUSINESS READINESS PAGE

Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) has developed a webpage to provide helpful resources to help businesses in Nova Scotia as they begin to reopen and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The resources are intended to be used as guides and references as business owners work to protect their employees and their customers.

The webpage includes updated information on federal and provincial funding assistance, business readiness guides, a business call to action, and a list of Nova Scotian companies that are producing PPE.

Visit the webpage at https://www.novascotiabusiness.com/covid-19-information/business-readiness

REGIONAL DESTINATION MARKETING ORGANIZATION PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM

The COVID-19 pandemic and the related travel restrictions have had a significant impact on tourism businesses and the organizations that work to promote communities throughout the province. Using partnership funds from Destination Canada, Tourism Nova Scotia is offering funding through a new program, the Regional Destination Marketing Organization Partnership, to support these organizations as we work to encourage people to explore our province when it is safe to do so.

The program will help eligible regional destination marketing organizations implement marketing activities that are complementary to Tourism Nova Scotia’s marketing recovery plan.

Details on the program and applications are available at https://tourismns.ca/regionalmarketingpartnershipprogram

The application deadline is Friday, June 26.

Support for Agriculture Sector Dealing with COVID-19

Nova Scotia’s agricultural businesses continue to produce food and generate economic activity, even when faced with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The province is responding to the sector’s immediate needs to help keep it strong.

“This support package will help farmers manage risks that are currently threatening the viability of their farm operations and our food supply system,” said Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell. “We need a strong agriculture sector and by taking these steps, we are helping our farm families improve their competitiveness, productivity and profitability at a time of significant change.”

In partnership with the federal government, the assistance includes a new COVID-19 Response and Mitigation Program, funded under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, that helps mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will help food producers with the costs of meeting extra health requirements due to COVID-19, help producers get their crops to market, fund projects aimed at maintaining competitiveness, productivity, profitability, and support abattoir efficiency and development.

Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada have agreed to increase the 2020 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50 to 75 per cent for producers. The program supports producers experiencing a large decline in farm income.

They are also providing a 10 per cent discount on producers’ share of AgriInsurance premiums, saving farmers from making these payments during difficult times. AgriInsurance is an insurance against natural hazards to reduce the financial impact of production losses.

Agricultural businesses can apply for the assistance now.

Resources:

COVID-19 Response and Mitigation Program: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/agriculture-response-program/

Canadian Agricultural Partnership Cost-Shared Programs in Nova Scotia: https://novascotia.ca/canadian-agricultural-partnership/

Canadian Agricultural Partnership: https://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/key-departmental-initiatives/canadian-agricultural-partnership/?id=1461767369849

Business Risk Management Programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership: https://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-our-department/key-departmental-initiatives/canadian-agricultural-partnership/canadian-agricultural-partnership-business-risk-management-programs-effective-april-2018/?id=1500475317828

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for Small Businesses

Nova Scotia is participating in the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for Small Businesses program. The program, in partnership with the federal government, will provide rent relief for commercial small businesses that have temporarily ceased operations or lost at least 70% of revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Landlords who register for the program can get a forgivable loan to cover half of the rent in April, May and June if they lower the rent by 75% over that period.

You can apply for the program on the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s website.

PROVINCE INVESTS IN NEW BUSINESSES, INNOVATION

The province is investing $750,000 to help start-up businesses seize opportunities emerging from COVID-19. Business incubators Volta, Ignite and the Organization for Nova Scotia Innovation-Driven Enterprise (ONSIDE) will receive funding to help new businesses get off the ground. Funding through Innovacorp will support startup activities in Cape Breton, including an entrepreneur in residence, acceleration programs, training opportunities, a makerspace, mentorship and networking events.

As the province focuses on economic recovery, new start-ups and innovation-driven entrepreneurs will play an important role in restarting the economy. This investment will help drive the creation of new business and support innovative solutions as we adjust to the post-COVID reality.

Business incubators help start-up companies through a variety of support services, including physical space, access to technology, coaching, shared services and networking. Volta, Ignite and ONSIDE will also provide programs and supports focused on issues and challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on this and other support for Nova Scotia Businesses please visit: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/support/#support-for-business