2020-04-12 - COVID-19 Update

Good afternoon,  

As many businesses and organizations begin to reopen (or move closer to reopening), today’s update is focused on resources to assist with this process. Most resources are general in nature to varying degrees – if you have specific questions about the reopening process as it applies to your operation, situations that have arisen during your reopening, government requirements, etc., you should contact ONB’s Business Navigators. They’ve been tasked by government to be the first point of contact for re-opening questions: nav@navnb.ca or 1-833-799-7966.  

Every business’ first step should be to create an Operational Plan (more details below) – this is required of all businesses that are open – even if you have remained open throughout the State of Emergency declaration. 

As a reminder, last week, in partnership with the chambers of commerce in Moncton and Saint John, we published a re-opening guide to help outline the main steps and points of consideration to comply with Public Health requirements.  

For the English Guide click here

For the French Guide click here

As other provinces also begin their reopening process, I am pleased to let you know that our three chambers have been asked to present our guide to the Canadian chamber network during their weekly update meeting! 

If you are looking for an example of an Operational Plan, the Fredericton chamber has posted ours here for your reference. 


Personal Protective Equipment and Business Protective Products 

For those businesses now open – or planning to open soon – you may require some products that you have not purchased before and aren’t sure where to get them. We’ve created a directory of more than 50 companies selling these preparedness products you’ll require. View the PPE and BPP listings to find out where you may obtain these products. 

If you sell PPE and/or BPP – add yourself to these new listings so businesses and organizations can easily find you. If you sell in both categories – be sure to list yourself twice. If you are already on our list – please submit an additional listing specifically for PPE and/or BPP. 

Canada Border Services Agency will be providing remissions from Duty on certain Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) imports into Canada. If you are importing PPE to protect your workers and your business, you might be able to get duties repaid. Full details here


Other Reopening Resources 

  • Stingray Radio announced the establishment of a $15M economic stimulus plan via its 104 radio stations across the country to help local businesses obtain grants in the form of free radio advertising during this unprecedented crisis. Read the full press release
  • Restaurants Canada has published a new reopening guide: Best Practice Guide For Food Service. Informed by lessons learned from those operating during the pandemic, this document provides practices that establishments can consider implementing to comply with government guidance in the areas of physical distancing, cleaning, sanitation, health and personal hygiene.   
  • Dr. Sarah McRae of UNB has developed COVID-19 guidelines for New Brunswick manufacturers available for download that outlines infection control practices, policies and considerations for operating during this pandemic. Dr McRae is hosting a virtual meeting to discuss the guide on 14 May 2020 at 11:00am click here to request an invitation. 
  • TIANB is offering free marketing webinars – the next is scheduled for 14 May 2020 – Marketing in a Crisis. Use coupon code “NBTourism” to attend. 
  • The Excellence NB Association has launched a new online store, NBMade.ca, to help New Brunswick’s entrepreneurs remain competitive during these unprecedented times. Businesses interested in selling their products on NBMade.ca can register via the website or can also contact the Excellence NB Association for assistance. As an initiative of Excellence NB to develop programs that bring consumers and NB businesses together, the service is provided to business owners at no charge. 
    • The site offers visitors a stylish retail interface, allowing shoppers to browse a myriad of possibilities across categories, including Artwork, Bath & Beauty, Clothing & Accessories, Home & Household, Food & Beverage, Kids & Pets and Stationery & Books. In just the few days since it opened, the store has over 250 products made right here in the province.  


Today, the federal government announced a new, temporary policy that will reduce the time it takes for a temporary foreign worker to start a new job. While this policy is in place, a worker who is already in Canada and has secured a new job offer, typically backed by a labour market test, can get approval to start working in their new job, even while their work permit application is being fully processed. This will cut what can often take 10 weeks or more, down to 10 days or less. Premier Higgs has previously stated that he asked the federal government for such a change to allow TFWs in the province to take on different jobs.  

Yesterday, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the federal government is establishing a Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) to provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going. The government also announced it will expand the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to mid-sized companies with larger financing needs, including loans of up to $60 million per company and guarantees of up to $80 million. The full news release can be found here

Last week, the Prime Minister announced that the federal government is extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy beyond June. 

The federal government also announced more details about the previously announced $500 million package for arts, culture, and amateur sport


Government of New Brunswick COVID-19 news releases since our last update: 


In response to the Province’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan, and the move to the orange recovery phase, City of Fredericton staff have provided an update to City Council about what City programs can continue during the pandemic and which ones must be cancelled for this year. The update includes information regarding transit, standing committees, City service centre, summer tourism activities and more. 


With the premier’s announcement last week, 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