2020-03-30- COVID-19 Update

Good afternoon, 

Today Prime Minister Trudeau provided some details on the 75% wage subsidy he announced last week. Businesses will be eligible for the subsidy if they have seen a 30% drop in revenues – the number of employees or size of business is not relevant. The 75% subsidy applies to the first $58,700 of an employee’s salary – back dated to 15 March 2020. Not-for-profits and charities are also eligible. Penalties will be put in place for businesses that claim the subsidy without seeing the 30% drop in revenues. 

We are working to clarify several issues related to the all of the various announced federal support mechanisms  to date, including how the wage subsidy will work and eligibility related to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”) vs regular employment insurance benefits – these are the theme of the two most common questions received at our office. As soon as these details become available, we will provide them in this daily update. 

We have some new details on the Canada Emergency Business Account to share. Loans of up to $40,000 are available. Businesses and not-for-profits are eligible if they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000). Small businesses and not-for-profits should contact their financial institution to apply for these loans. 

The Business Development Bank of Canada issued the following press release which contains more details on government-guaranteed loans available through them or Export Development Canada. Both BDC and EDC have also been provided additional funds for traditional lending. 

Additional information on all of the measures announced by the federal government last week can be found here


The $900 New Brunswick Workers Emergency Income Benefit is now available through the Red Cross for workers or self-employed people residing in New Brunswick who have lost their job due to the state of emergency. The benefit is meant to bridge the gap between when a person lost their job or closed their business on or after March 15, 2020, to when the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”) takes effect. The benefit will end on April 30, 2020. More information on the benefit and the application procedure is available online

We have confirmed with the provincial government that the planned minimum wage increase scheduled for 1 April 2020 is going ahead, moving from $11.50 per hour to $11.70. 

Many members have asked about a commercial rent relief program through the province of New Brunswick and have sent us information about the “COVID-19 Rent Deferral Support Program” in Nova Scotia and now a new similar program announced in PEI today called the “Commercial Lease Rent Deferral Program”. These programs are designed to provide relief to both tenants and landlords. We continue to speak to the Province of New Brunswick about similar relief here but we have no indication that such a program is forthcoming at this time. 


The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce’s Open, Operational and/or Offering help business directory is now live. We are asking all local businesses that are open, operational and/or offering help to fill out this brief form to help us populate the page (we will work towards ensuring it is posted by the next business day).  And please continue to share, share, share so our community knows the services available! 


You are receiving this message because you are in our member database or via 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