News release

Grant Program Offers Support to Restaurants, Bars and Gyms in Halifax Regional Municipality and Hants County

A one-time grant of up to $5,000 is being made available to support businesses in Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and Hants County that have been ordered by Public Health to temporarily close in response to rising cases of COVID-19 in their communities.

The grant will support the small, independently owned dine-in restaurants, bars, and fitness and leisure establishments impacted by new public health directives that take effect today, Nov. 26.

“Small businesses across the province are doing their part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and I want to thank them for their work to keep Nova Scotians safe,” said Minister of Business Geoff MacLellan. “The necessary additional directives announced this week will have an impact on many businesses, many who are already among the hardest hit, and they are making big sacrifices to help turn the tide. They need our help.”

New restrictions include reduced gathering limits, limiting restaurants to take-out or delivery, and closures of bars and drinking establishments, gyms, and other fitness and leisure facilities.

Eligible businesses will receive a one-time grant of 15 per cent of their average monthly gross revenues for April 2019, or from February 2020 if it is a new business, up to a maximum of $5,000.

Businesses must experience a revenue decrease of 30 per cent or more in November as a result of the ongoing impacts of the public health order or expect at least a 30 per cent decrease in revenues in December 2020 resulting from the new measures put in place this week.

This program is a targeted continuation of the Small Business Impact Grant. It is funded through the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Response Council with the program funds of $50 million announced in March.

The application process will open in the coming weeks.


“The pandemic has challenged everyone in industry and government to rise to new levels of response to combat the COVID-19 crisis. The Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia (RANS) has reached out to our province many times and, as always, they have responded with strong and quick support with innovative programs, revised regulations and financial assistance. Once again the government is ahead of the curve and RANS looks forward to this new funding initiative to support businesses that have been impacted by the recent closures."

Gordon Stewart, executive director, Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia

Quick Facts:

  • eligible businesses include small, independently owned dine-in restaurants (take-out businesses and food trucks are excluded), bars and licensed drinking establishments (excluding wineries and distillery tasting rooms) and fitness and leisure establishments (such as gyms, pilates and yoga studios, rock climbing gyms, escape rooms, axe-throwing establishments and board game cafes) operating in the restricted communities in HRM and Hants county named in the public health order on Nov. 24
  • the grant can be used for any operational expense such as wages, supplies and other costs
  • eligible businesses formed after March 15, 2020 are able to apply for this program. There is no cap on annual revenues
  • other programs funded through the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Response Council to date include income replacement, impact grants and reopening support grants for small business, breakfast programs for kids and supports for unemployed individuals who may not have qualified for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Additional Resources:

Further information on programs, eligibility and application processes can be found at