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Nova Scotia to provide temporary financial help for small businesses

Canadian dollars are pictured in Vancouver, Sept. 22, 2011. .
Canadian dollars are pictured in Vancouver, Sept. 22, 2011. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Nova Scotia government announced Friday that it will launch a new financial support program to help small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Small Business Credit and Support Program has been described by the province as “a temporary stream for access to credit, cash grants and support delivered through participating credit unions.”

READ MORE: Nova Scotia detects 23 new cases of coronavirus, bringing province to 850 confirmed cases

This new program comes in addition to other supports previously launched by government, including the Small Business Impact Grant, Rent Deferral Guarantee Program, Worker Emergency Bridge Fund, deferring fees, loan and interest payments

Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau announces rent relief for small businesses during pandemic
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“Many small businesses don’t qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and need our help,” said Business Minister Geoff MacLellan in a press release.

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“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.”

READ MORE: Nova Scotia announces 4 more deaths as a result of coronavirus outbreak

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According to the province, the program will be available starting Wednesday, April 29.

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 said it is also working with post-secondary education partners to deliver education, training and guidance to small businesses.

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“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,” the province stated.

Upon approval, the province said 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.

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Moreover, Nova Scotia is partnering with the federal government to provide commercial rent relief for small businesses that have temporarily stopped operations or experienced a 70 per cent revenue decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The province said it is contributing $9 million to the program.