Nova Scotia announces $7M in property tax relief for small business owners

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Nova Scotia premier announces new restrictions, says virus ‘making a comeback’' Coronavirus: Nova Scotia premier announces new restrictions, says virus ‘making a comeback’
WATCH: Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin on Friday announced new restrictions for the Halifax Regional Municipality and other parts of the province, saying effective Saturday restaurants and licensed establishments in the affected areas will close one hour earlier. He said it is not permanent but at least for the next month, and is a result of COVID-19 "making a comeback." There will also be new measures for long-term care homes and people should avoid non-essential travel in the province. There were 10 new cases reported Friday – Feb 26, 2021

The Nova Scotia government has launched a property tax rebate program for small businesses that have suffered as a result of COVID-19 shutdowns.

The province announced $7 million in property tax relief on Tuesday, allowing business to claim a rebate of a portion of the property taxes paid.

Businesses can choose between a $1,000 rebate or 50 per cent of the commercial property taxes paid in the last six months of the 2020-21 tax year.

“This is much-needed help and the rebate will make a difference,” said Jennie Dobbs, owner of Morris East Restaurant and Wine Bar, in a news release.

“We all understand that we are in this together. But this is a recognition by the province that every time new restrictions are put in place our businesses suffer,” Dobbs said.

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Read more: More than 200K small businesses could close permanently amid pandemic: CFIB

The province says nearly 3,300 businesses are eligible for the rebate, “including dine-in restaurants and drinking establishments; gym and fitness establishments; hair salons and barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments.”

“This is cash in the pockets for restaurants and other small businesses in the service sector,” said Premier Iain Rankin in the release.

“The rebate may be based on property taxes but is designed to be used by business owners to support any aspect of their business, including hiring staff or paying down debt, paying utilities or ordering supplies.”

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The funding for the program will come from the the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Response Council administered by Dalhousie University.

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Eligible businesses will include those who have previously received the Small Business Impacts Grant and business that have experienced a decline in revenues of at least 30 per cent between April 30, 2020, and Jan. 31.

Businesses who first opened on or after Jan. 1, 2020 will also be eligible for the rebate.

More details on eligibility and how to apply for the rebate will be available mid-March on the provincial website.

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