2020-03-31 - COVID-19 Update

Good afternoon, 

Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Small Business Minister Mary Ng were scheduled today to provide more details about the announced wage subsidy, but that has been rescheduled to tomorrow, 1 April 2020. We expect a technical briefing to follow and are focused on clarifying details and the application process.  

We will continue to share information about all of the announced support programs as it becomes available, including clarifications on eligibility as well as application timelines and processes. 


As requested by the Fredericton chamber and others, the provincial government has extended the deadline to request a property assessment review by 30 days, to 1 May 2020. 

Property assessment offices remain closed to protect the health and safety of employees and the public, however staff have resumed some of their regular duties, including the processing of requests for review. 

The following options are available to anyone wishing to submit a request for review: 

  • Online submissions: www.snb.ca/review 
  • Email submissions: snb@snb.ca 
  • Regular mail, as indicated on your 2020 property assessment and tax notice 

Anyone with questions about their assessment should email snb@snb.ca or call 1-888-762-8600. 

The full press release can be found here

The government also announced that nine Service New Brunswick centres will reopen on Wednesday for essential service by appointment only, including in Fredericton. More information on what services will be available can be found here.

Businesses throughout New Brunswick have expressed concerns with meeting rent obligations during the COVID-19 crisis. Today, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton and the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce jointly wrote to Economic Development and Small Business Minister Mary Wilson, requesting that the provincial government implement a small business rent deferral guarantee program – following the lead of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

In those provinces, landlords have been encouraged to grant commercial tenants a three-month lease rent deferral, from April 1 to June 30, to help ease the cash-flow burden. Under each program, landlords are eligible for up to $5,000 in government support per tenant per month, to a maximum of $50,000 per landlord. A copy of the joint letter can be found here


The Chamber’s merchant services partner, First Data has let us know that if a business has stopped processing debit/credit cards, they are waiving the normal minimum discount fee to assist in recovery efforts. They are also willing to discuss COVID-19-related mitigation measures with customers on a case-by-case basis – call 1-888-263-1938 to speak to their loyalty team. 


  • Many of our small business and not-for-profit members are adjusting their workforce and have asked about the federal government’s work share program. Here are the temporary changes implemented as a result of COVID-19: Maximum length of agreements expanded from 38 to 76 weeks 
    • Mandatory cooling off period in between agreements is waived for the time being 
    • Recovery plan requirements have been reduced to a single line of text on the application to recognize the current level of uncertainty 
    • Businesses are eligible after being in business for one year (previously two years) 
    • For more information on the Work Share Program, use this email address.  More details on the program are available here
  • Are you a business that can supply products and services in support of Canada’s response to COVID-19? For information about the emergency goods and services needed to support the Government of Canada’s action plan for COVID-19, please click 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
  • Applications for NB’s Low-Income Seniors’ Benefit will be available tomorrow. Eligible individuals can apply for the $400 benefit until 31 December 2020. Please share with family, friends and colleagues. 
  • The Fredericton International Airport provided an update regarding their operations, restrictions and safety procedures. They also advised that from April 1 – 30, commercial flights at YFC will be reduced to: 
    • one daily flight to Toronto with WestJet, 
    • 2 daily flights to Halifax with Air Canada, and 
    • up to 2 daily flights to Montreal with Air Canada. 
  • Opportunities New Brunswick’s latest newsletter is dedicated to COVID-19 and can be found here. Watch out for future editions of the webinar they launched with members of the NB business community last week.  
  • Thank you to chamber member KCM First Aid for informing us that Red Cross has extended all First Aid certificates expiring soon for an additional 3 months from the time of expiry. WorkSafeNB also informed KCM that at this time they won’t be enforcing up-to-date certificate rules until first aid training providers are able to resume training activities. 
  • The federal government is advising tourism operators, small businesses or organizations affected by COVID-19 to contact ACOA for assistance with access to federal funding and other services. 
  • Are you working in an essential service sector such as health, energy & utilities, finance, food, government, ICT, manufacturing, safety, transportation or water? Public Safety Canada is conducting a survey to gain a better understanding of types and quantities of products/equipment required for our essential services and functions in Canada. The survey is anonymous and Public Safety Canada asks that you do not include any personal information in your answers. Results will be used for discussion through existing mechanisms.  
  • An urgent call to Canadian businesses that we received from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and were asked to pass along to you: frontline medical workers need protection. If your business has extra N95 facemasks, safety glasses, sanitized goggles, isolation gowns or coveralls, sanitizer or latex, nitrile or vinyl gloves to donate, please contact Horizon Health at Horizon@HorizonNB.ca.  


The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce’s Open, Operational and/or Offering help business directory is 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.  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