News release

Province Announces Credit, Cash, Support Package for Small Businesses

Nova Scotia small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 need access to financial support.

That is why the province announced today, April 24, the COVID-19 Small Business Credit and Support Program as a temporary stream for access to credit, cash grants and support delivered through participating credit unions. The program will be available starting Wednesday, April 29.

“Many small businesses don’t qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and need our help,” said Business Minister Geoff MacLellan. “We’re focused on offering programs that complement federal programming and bridge gaps. This new stream provides small businesses much needed access to cash and other business supports to help them now and after the pandemic.”

To be eligible, small businesses must have a payroll less than $20,000 in the previous fiscal year and have experienced a decline in revenue from sales of at least 15 per cent in March or at least 30 per cent in April, May or June.

As part of the package of supports for small businesses, the province is working with post-secondary education partners to deliver education, training and guidance to small businesses. A centralized hub hosted by the Nova Scotia Community College will connect businesses to support programs available from post-secondary institutions and other regional organizations.

As well, Nova Scotia is partnering with the federal government to provide commercial rent relief for small businesses that have temporarily ceased operations or experienced a 70 per cent revenue decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The province is contributing $9 million to the program.

Quick Facts:

  • the program is 100 per cent guaranteed by the province. Maximum loan amount is $25,000
  • upon approval, businesses will receive a grant up to $1,500, as well as a COVID-19 Business Continuity Voucher of up to $1,500, to help hire a private consultant for advice and support
  • an additional $20 million has been made available through the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program that will help fund the new temporary COVID-19 response. The grant has a cap of $3 million
  • funding for the grant will come from the existing contribution agreement between the province and Dalhousie University
  • the Business Continuity Voucher Program will be administered by Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI). The grant will be delivered through the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council. Applicants will be referred to the NSBI regional business development advisor to identify other COVID-19 related programs they might be eligible for
  • the package will be available until June 30
  • this is in addition to other supports previously announced, including the Small Business Impact Grant, Rent Deferral Guarantee Program, Worker Emergency Bridge Fund, deferring fees, loan and interest payments

Additional Resources:

Support for businesses announced by the province:

Applications for the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program can be submitted through