2020-05-14 - COVID-19 Update

Good afternoon,  

We are heading into what looks to be a beautiful long weekend – the traditional launching point of the summer season for many of us. While it’s going to be a little different this year, I would encourage everyone to get out to enjoy the weather, explore your community and of course, visit a local business or two! Many of our favourite businesses began to reopen over the past week and the time is now to show your support and help our friends and neighbours. 

As the re-opening process continues to unfold, we are hearing more from members that one of your main concerns is acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE) and making necessary modifications to your space to comply with Public Health requirements. 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. 

For more of my thoughts about the past two months and where we should head, check out my monthly commentary tomorrow in the Daily Gleaner and Saturday in the Telegraph-Journal. 

We are looking for your feedback on our webinar offerings over the past couple of months and seeking suggestions for future webinars or other virtual events. The two-minute survey is here. The webinars we have hosted and provided for the business community over the past eight weeks can be viewed here

With colleagues John Wishart of Moncton and David Duplisea of Saint John, I presented details on our joint project to develop a business reopening guide. The guide was released last week and covers safe reopening guidelines as the New Brunswick economy gradually reopens. The guide has now been shared with Chambers of Commerce across Canada. You can access the guide here


Yesterday, the federal government announced details of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund. The fund is meant to recognize that some business owners and support organizations have not been able to access other federal emergency support measures. The RRRF can help businesses and organizations continue their operations, including paying their employees, and support projects by businesses, organizations and communities to prepare now for a successful recovery. You can apply here.  

  • Canada Business Service Centre 1-888-576-4444 

ACOA representatives have told us that this funding will be available to types of businesses that are not normally eligible for ACOA funding. We will share more information regarding that distinction as it becomes available. 

PM Trudeau also announced that applications will open Friday for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) which provides for up to $1,250 per month for May, June, July and August for post-secondary students and recent PSE graduates. The prime minister urged students to create a My Account on the Canada Revenue Agency site to ease the application process. 


Today, the provincial government extended the province’s State of Emergency declaration for another two weeks. The latest version of the declaration is available online

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


  • Deloitte has created an online tool to help small businesses navigate the more than 74 federal and provincial assistance programs announced to date.  
  • The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) has partnered with TechImpact to assess the implications of COVID-19 on small, medium and large-scale technology-based organizations across New Brunswick. The following 5-minute survey looks to examine the current vitals of provincial businesses, related challenges and new business developments as they pertain to the developing pandemic. 


We are hosting a two-part webinar next week on Wednesday May 20th and Friday May 22nd. Topics covered in this session will include: 

  • Understanding Pandemics  
  • Managing Risk: COVID-19 Symptoms/Transmission 
  • Screening for COVID-19 in the Workplace 
  • Managing Potential COVID-19 Incidents in the Workplace 
  • Workplace COVID-19 Management Plan Cornerstones 
  • Right to Refuse Under Occupational Health & Safety Act  
  • COVID-19 Workplace Audits 

Dr. Matthew Burnstein, Occupational Physician 
Glen O’Neill, Occupational Health and Safety Advisor 
David Clark, Labour and Employment Lawyer 
Brad Proctor, Occupational Health and Safety Lawyer 

Register here

The Canadian chamber network have called for national PPE standards, stating the early development of guidelines and access to personal protective equipment that will be essential to implementing an effective COVID-19 operation plan for business recovery. To review the letter, click here

This week the national chamber also announced that this year’s annual general meeting and conference was going virtual. As part of that process, our chamber submits a policy resolution for the conference delegates to consider making part of the Canadian chamber’s advocacy efforts. If you have suggestions to positively change federal government policy – please contact Policy & Research Manager Morgan Peters at advocacy@frederictonchamber.ca.  


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