2020-05-26 - COVID-19 Update

Good afternoon,  

Earlier today the chambers of commerce in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John wrote to Prime Minister Trudeau on behalf of our members to express concern about the proposed 10 days of legislated annual sick leave for all employees that he spoke about during his daily press conference yesterday.  

The letter can be found on our website here. Our corresponding joint news release can be found here


On Thursday, ten economic development, business, and community development organizations from across New Brunswick, including the Fredericton chamber, will present a virtual conference and podcast series designed to reimagine New Brunswick in a post-pandemic world.  

Turning Point: Recovery and Reimagination in New Brunswick will consist of eight virtual conferences and related podcasts in both English and French over a four-week period. The first conference will be held this Thursday on the province’s fiscal realities and will feature Premier Blaine Higgs and economist Richard Saillant.  

All eight conferences will feature leading economists and a panel of public and private sector experts. The series will be big on interaction with conference attendees. The goal of the series is to engage as wide a spectrum of voices as possible, and design a reimagined New Brunswick that is economically, socially, and environmentally strong and inclusive in order to design a sustainable roadmap for growth as New Brunswick emerges from the pandemic. 

At the end of the process, the 10 organizations will collaborate to develop one-page summaries with action points for each of the eight themes. These will be presented to the provincial government and other public policy groups. 

To learn more or register, click here


We are hosting a meeting with government officials later in the week regarding the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program. They are seeking feedback to consider implementing for the second phase of the program, beginning next month. If you have feedback to the government about CEWS (eligibility requirements, amount, interaction with other programs, etc.) – please provide to our Policy & Research Manager, Morgan Peters at advocacy@frederictonchamber.ca.  


Earlier this week the Fredericton Chamber and other regional stakeholders 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


Business Resilience Network Small Business Relief Fund 
Yesterday, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce announced a new program, the Canadian Business Resilience Network Small Business Relief Fund, to provide small Canadian businesses with $10,000 grants to help their recovery efforts during these unprecedented times. 

The applications that best demonstrate how the funds will help the businesses, their employees and their communities will receive the funding. The initiative is funded by Salesforce. 

Businesses can use the $10,000 grants to support their recovery efforts, including paying salaries, acquiring safety and personal protective equipment for staff, replenishing materials or paying for the measures required to adapt business models to the economic impacts of COVID-19, among other key priorities. 

Applications for this grant opportunity will open June 1, 2020 and close June 12, 2020. For more information, click here

Business Resilience Service 

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has launched a new program to provide organizations with direct access to a network of qualified business advisors to help guide them courtesy of a new, government-funded program from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. 

The program, called the Business Resilience Service (BRS), is run through the Canadian Chamber’s Canadian Business Resilience Network in collaboration with EY and with support from Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) and Imagine Canada. The BRS will provide options for any vulnerable small to medium-sized business, not-for-profit or charity to immediately connect with experienced accounting and tax professionals across the country from professional services firms. The program, delivered to organizations free of charge, will: 

  • Provide guidance on program options and eligibility 
  • Rapidly direct businesses – including enterprises involving Indigenous peoples, women and diverse groups – to the most appropriate support organizations 
  • Help organizations make decisions to support recovery plans 
  • Provide real time insights and feedback to policymakers 

The BRS program, coordinated by EY, will be provided for four weeks from Monday, May 25, and will involve support from approximately 125 business advisors from across the accounting profession. Organizations can access the BRS seven days a week by calling 1-866-989-1080


Applications are now being accepted for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. Property owners can register and apply for the program here.  

A HELPFUL TOOL for navigating the number of COVID-19 programs available has recently been launched by the federal government – there is an individuals and a business interactive flow chart. They allow users to quickly find programs they may qualify for by answering a few simple questions. 


The Government of New Brunswick has published a fact sheet to help explain the changes regarding emergency leave to the Employment Standards Act last month. 

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 City of Fredericton is launching the Art of Living Facebook Live series, an initiative stemming from the People Helping People webpage connecting residents to the many local resources our community offers.  The series features free classes and activities hosted by local residents and businesses for all ages, activity levels, and interests. The schedule for this week can be found here. Take the opportunity to try something new – you might just find your next great passion that you can take to the next level at a local business as things start to open up more and more. Programs like People Helping People and #SupportFredLocal the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce certainly commends the City for their initiatives in this regard. 


During global economic downturns, cash flow is more vital than ever. Join Export Development Canada (EDC) on Thursday May 28 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET for a free webinar, Manage Your Cash Flow and Ramp Up for Business, to discover strategies that can help your company weather the pandemic and prepare for recovery and growth. This webinar will show you the programs and assistance that can help you protect your company.  

Earlier today, Narrative Research released survey results that looked at how likely are Canadians to return to normal activities in the coming weeks. Their headline conclusion was that “in the coming weeks and months Canadians are unlikely to undertake activities beyond their job or a health-care visit, unless there is a sustained period of no new cases of COVID-19 in their province or a vaccine being available.” 


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