AEC has compiled a list of resources & support for entrepreneurs and small business owners


General Information

The government is proposing the following measures to help individuals that may be impacted by COVID-19.

  • Retirees: Reducing the requirement for minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (“RRIFs”) by 25% for 2020, in recognition of volatile market conditions and the impact on seniors’ retirement savings. Similar rules would apply to individuals receiving variable benefit payments under a defined contribution Registered Pension Plan.


  • All individuals: The Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) will defer the filing due date for individuals tax return to June 1, 2020 and defer the filing due date to May 1, 2020 for trusts with taxation year ending on December 31, 2019. The CRA will also allow individuals to defer until after August 31, 2020 for tax payments that become owing after March 17, 2020 and before September 2020. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.


  • Middle-class individuals/families: Issue a one-time payment of Goods and Services Tax credit by early May 2020, which will provide additional assistance to individuals and families benefitting from this measure to approximately $400 for individuals and approximately $600 for couples


  • Increase the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit payments to $300 per child for 2019-2020 benefit year


  • Implement a six-month interest-free moratorium on Canada Student Loan


Support for Canadian Businesses


The government announced stimulus program to stabilize Canada’s economy and help affected business with the following proposed measures:

The CRA will allow businesses to defer until after August 31, 2020 for tax payments that become owing after March 17, 2020 and before September 2020. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. They will also not initiate any post assessment GST/HST or income tax audits for the next four weeks and audit interaction with taxpayers and their representatives will be suspended temporarily.

Introduction of a temporary wage subsidy for 3 months to provide equivalent of 10% of renumeration paid during that period, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer, to keep employees on payroll. Employers benefiting from this measure would include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as not-for-profit organisations and charities.

This article provides highlights of some key tax measures and it is not a comprehensive review of the Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. View Department of Finance’s Economic Response Plan for more details.




  • Get your drug or medical device to clinical trial faster (Health Canada) – Companies and researchers with drugs, medical devices or natural health products that may be effective in the treatment or diagnosis of COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the Government of Canada to facilitate clinical trials.


  • Work-Sharing Program – COVID-19: Income support to avoid layoffs (ESDC) – If your employees are eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, and your business is suffering a downturn due to COVID-19, you can apply for a work-sharing agreement. The agreement would allow them to work a temporarily reduced work week while receiving EI benefits.


  • Help Canada combat Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) submission form – (request from PWGSC) – Are you a business that can supply products and services in support of Canada’s response to COVID-19? Items such as masks, gloves, gowns, hand sanitizer, and services such as security, nursing, food, laundry, accommodation maintenance and IT support are all needed.


  • Support for tourism operators and SMEs – (Regional Development Agencies: FedDev Ontario, ACOA, WD, CED, FedNor, CanNor) – If the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting your operations, contact your local Regional Development Agency office to get a review of your situation and guidance on getting funding, support and/or flexible arrangements, on a case-by-case basis.



  • Small Business Loan – $10k up to $100K (BDC) – Online application process; repayable over 5 years; can be used to buy equipment, purchase extra software or hardware, apply for a patent, trademark or other intellectual property protection.


  • Working Capital Loan (BDC) – Get a loan to complement your line of credit in order to boost inventory and take advantage of supplier discounts.


  • Purchase Order Financing (EDC-BDC) – Loans to fulfill large international orders. Get financing to cover up to 90% of the purchase order amount of contracts with international buyers.






  • Essential Services Map – A virtual map  developed to identify essential businesses and services and outline how they are operating during this time.


  • Business Development Program (NSBI) – The Business Development Program, formerly known as the Small Business Development Program, has been updated to include an additional stream to serve your Nova Scotia Business better. Please note businesses can only apply to Stream 1 OR Stream 2.


  • Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program (NSBI) – The Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program helps small and medium sized companies access direct assistance to help make their business more productive and innovative. The program lets businesses seek out expertise within post-secondary institutions to Improve productivity, develop a new product, service, or process; and create growth.


  • COVID-19 Small Business Help Centre (CFIB) – Resources for dealing with COVID-19; providing advice, templates, and policies during this time.
    The website gets updated regularly and also has a great FAQ for businesses & self-employed people – from what to do if you can’t pay rent to what employees need to apply for supports, and more.

May 19, 2020


May 26th, 2020






ISANS (Immigrant Services Association of NS)

All offices are now closed at least until April 6, they are continuing to assist clients by phone. For more information visit their website