News Release – April 1, 2020
Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, gave an update today, April 2, on efforts to help Nova Scotians dealing with COVID-19.
New measures announced today:
- a $20 million Worker Emergency Bridge Fund to help the self-employed and those laid-off workers who do not qualify for Employment Insurance. Government will provide a one-time, $1,000 payment, to bridge the gap between layoffs and closures and the federal government’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit
- $20 million to fund a new program — the Small Business Impact Grant. Eligible small businesses and social enterprises will receive a grant of 15 per cent of their revenue from sales — either from April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000. This flexible, one-time, upfront grant can be used for any purpose necessary
Today’s announcements, totalling $40 million, will come out of a new $50 million fund that will be administered by Dalhousie University in Halifax. Eligibility for the programs is not affected by a person or business being enrolled in another provincial program or the federal initiatives.
An announcement on when the programs are ready for applications will come early next week.
Other measures announced today include:
- the current state of emergency is extended until noon, April 19
- a new extended hours phone line has been set up for people wanting information on income assistance eligibility from the Department of Community Services. Call toll-free 1-833-722-1417 from Monday to Friday 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During regular business hours, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. call the regular toll-free line at 1-877-424-1177.
TIANS will share additional details regarding the new financial support as soon as available.