2020-06-01 - COVID-19 Update

Good afternoon,  

A big thank you to Bob and Jan Chisholm of McDonald’s Restaurants in Fredericton and Oromocto who announced last week that they are donating $33,000 in Downtown Fredericton and Business Fredericton North dollars to their front-line employers that have worked throughout the pandemic. Their generous donation is also meant to support Fredericton’s #SupportFredLocal campaign and stimulate the local economy. We are so proud to call McDonald’s a member and will welcome Bob as our next board of director president later this month. 

Last week we wrote to Premier Higgs to request that the Government of New Brunswick extend the commercial eviction protection that expired yesterday. With the federal rent subsidy only opening a week ago and the province being in the early stages of our recovery plan, the conditions that existed at the time the protection began are still present today. 

The Fredericton Chamber and other regional stakeholders have launched a survey to help inform our organizations’ economic recovery plans. Please invest 10 minutes to complete the survey and have your voice heard – it is vital to the success of the advocacy, programming and support that we can then craft to further support you, our local and foundational economy. Access the survey here

The application process is now open for the Canadian Business Resilience Network Small Business Relief Fund. Sixty-two businesses that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will each be the recipient of a $10,000 grant to help them recover and support their business resilience. These grants are made possible through the generosity of Salesforce. Applications are being accepted until Friday, June 12, 2020. For more information and to apply, click here. 

Thank you to Colin Fowlie and Fred-E-Scene for including me in their “Good Times are Coming Soon Fredericton” video which was released last week. 


On 15 May 2020, the federal government announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will be extended by an additional 12 weeks to 29 August 2020. They have launched a consultation process to seek information and feedback.  This consultation will help inform potential changes to the program with the intent of maximizing employment while meeting the needs of businesses and workers. You can share your experience by taking a short survey or provide in-depth feedback on the guiding questions by email. Deadline is June 5. 


As business in New Brunswick begin to plan to reopen, WorkingNB is hosting a virtual job fair on June 2 and 3. The event will be live both days from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

The virtual career fair will be open to jobseekers and any companies or organizations now actively seeking employees. Businesses will find HR support services at the site and will be able to chat with job applicants. Job search tips and other resources will also be available. Job seekers register/login here


The Business Resilience Service (BRS) allows you to connect with experienced business advisors from across Canada for guidance on which government relief programs will be most appropriate to support your small- to medium-sized business, not-for-profit or charity on how to respond and reshape amid uncertainty caused by the pandemic. All you need to do is call 1.866.989.1080. Lines are open seven days a week – including on Saturdays and Sundays – from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. 

RRP Canada is free to use and provides a matchmaking service to ‘connect the dots’ between manufacturers and businesses in need of PPE. PPE products on the Rapid Response Platform include hand sanitizer, surgical masks, N95 masks, surface sanitizer, face shields and gowns. 


Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, through the Innovative Solutions Canada program, has two funding opportunities available:  

  • One seeks a smart digital exchange platform solution that will connect researchers, health providers and solution providers with the appropriate expertise, materials, devices and information to respond to COVID-19.  
  • The second requires a solution for reagents required for nucleic acid sample preparation and rapid and efficient SARS-CoV-2 Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) extraction in order to perform downstream molecular diagnostics of COVID-19 with capability to integrate within existing and/or potential microfluidic platforms for sample-to-answer solutions that can be deployed on the frontline for rapid testing.  

People on the blindness spectrum may not be able to read your posted information about your business’s safety protocols. The Checkered Eye Project has prepared tips for businesses to use to improve the accessibility of signs. The project would like to make businesses aware of the checkered eye symbol that some people with low vision wear to communicate their visual difficulties.  


Upcoming Webinars 

  • Register for Turning Point Episode. 2: Regional Collaboration. The English session is taking place on June 2, 2020 at 1:00PM and the French session will be on June 4 at 10:00AM. This conversation is just getting started and we’ll be building on ideas as we go. Tune in throughout and share the series with your networks! 
  • The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is hosting a live webinar on June 2 at 1:00 pm with BDC Chief Economist Pierre Cléroux, who will give an economic update and speak about the main business trends that will reshape the way we do business. BDC Advisory Services Executive Vice President Peter Lawler who will discuss what business owners should be doing now as they ramp up operations and also give an overview of financing support programs and resources available. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A. Register here
  • Join the chambers of commerce in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John as we host M5 as they present their survey results on purchasing, travel and economic confidence in the region. The webinar is 3 June 2020 at 11:00 am. 
  • If you are seeking solutions to your workforce needs, Join us on 3 June 2020 at 11:00 am for a webinar with the NB Association for Community Living. Ready, Willing and Able (RWA) is a national partnership of the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL), the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA) and their member organizations. There are approximately 500,000 working age adults with intellectual disabilities or ASD in Canada. This untapped workforce can help address current labour shortages while making businesses stronger, more diverse and more productive. Corinne Arseneau, Labour Market Facilitator in NB, will provide information about how employers, and employees, can be supported from recruitment to employment maintenance, making HR practices easier while navigating difficult times. 
  • BDC advisory services experts are hosting a webinar on June 15 at 1:00 pm as they present a step-by-step approach to managing risks, creating contingency plans and equipping your business with a strategic vision that takes into account the changed landscape. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce will present the results of the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions and will discuss how businesses of all sizes are adapting and innovating during this crisis. You will learn how this data can support your decision-making on resilience and recovery. A live Q&A will follow. Register here


Many businesses are now open or will be planning to re-open soon. If you have posted information on our “Who’s Open” directory and would like to make changes, please send your edits to fchamber@frederictonchamber.ca. To view your current listing, visit our directory here

If you haven’t yet checked out the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce’s Open, Operational and/or Offering Help business directory, now would be a great time to do so with the addition of our Personal Protective Equipment and Business Protective Products sections. And please continue to share, share, share so our community knows the services that are available!  Nearly 500 businesses and organizations have listed their services, products and how you can access them including nearly 20 offering free services to assist you during this time!! 


You are receiving this message because you are on our email list. If you know other individuals or organizations that could benefit from our information, ask them to join our mailing list here. Of course, all daily emails are also available on our website by clicking here we are continuing to share them on our social media vehicles (FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram). 

We also still want to hear how the COVID-19 Crisis is affecting your business and any specific ways that the government can support you at this time. Contact either myself or our Policy & Research Manager, Morgan Peters to share information or ask questions. 

kristar@frederictonchamber.ca / (506) 461-5165 

advocacy@frederictonchamber.ca / (506) 470-5593 


Krista Ross, CEO, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce