COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has formed a Business Response Team will help businesses navigate through the COVID-19 Alert Level System. This will include guiding businesses to various resources and guidelines available on how to operate in a way that protects workers and customers from the potential risk of COVID-19. The Business Response Team is here to help businesses in any way they can.

If you have inquiries, please send an email to: covid19info@gov.nl.ca or call 1-833-771-0696, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Business Practices

The Chief Medical Officer of Health has ordered all retail stores to close immediately, unless those stores provide services essential to life, health or personal safety. Alternate forms of service delivery may be provided as long as the store is not open to the public. Retail stores may provide service through online or telephone orders, contactless delivery, and curbside pickup.

For businesses that continue to operate during this public health emergency, preventative measures and physical (social) distancing must be implemented to protect public health and limit the spread of COVID-19. The Town of Torbay is asking all local businesses to implement the following measures:

  • Limit number of customers in the facility at one time and enforce social distancing of at least 2 meters/6 feet. Avoid having customers enter facility when possible.
    • Businesses are encouraged to use markers on floors to indicate distancing requirements.
  • Restrict deliveries to contactless delivery such as curbside pickup;
  • Stagger scheduled pickups to one customer at any given time;
  • Avoid the exchange of cash and use Interac Flash/tap if possible;
  • Disinfect debit/credit pin-pads  after each use;
  • Limit the number of employees in the facility to only those necessary;
  • Employees are not to report to work if they are sick, are required to self-isolate, or are a close contact of a known case of COVID-19;
  • Employees must practice proper hand hygiene, cough, and sneeze etiquette;

Provincial guidelines for businesses, including emergency orders and FAQs can be found at https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19.

If you are an owner/operator of a hotel or bed & breakfast, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador have issued specific guidelines to follow. Click here for Guidance for Hotel and Bed and Breakfast Accommodations.


Business Supports

Due to the necessary measures in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19, many businesses are facing significant challenges. The Town of Torbay, along with the provincial and federal government have recognized the hardship this outbreak has placed on businesses and are offering supports to help see them through this period.

If you are a business owner in Town of Torbay and have any questions related to these measures and exemptions, please contact jschwarz@torbay.ca or sparsons@torbay.ca.

Avoid Layoffs

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy – The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will cover up to 75% of salaries for qualifying businesses up to a maximum of $847 per week, retroactive to March 15, 2020. The subsidy has been extended to June 30, 2021.
  • Work Sharing – Work Sharing provides income support to employees eligible for EI benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while their employer recovers. The maximum duration of Work-Sharing agreements had been increased from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for employers affected by COVID-19. For more information visit the Government of Canada Work Sharing website.

Financial Support, Loans, and Access to Credit

  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will provide $65 billion of additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).
    • Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: EDC is working with financial institutions to guarantee 80% of new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs through the EDC Business Credit Availability Program Guarantee. This support is available until June 2021.
    • Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program: EDC’s Mid-Market Guarntee and Financing Program will bring liquidity to companies who tend to have revenues of between $50 million to $300 million, to sustain operations during this uncertain period. EDC will continue to work with Canadian financial institutions to guarantee 75 % of new operating credit and cash-flow loans – ranging in size from $16.75 million to a maximum of $80 million.
    • Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans of up to $12.5 million to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.
    • Mid-Market Financing Program: BDC Mid-Market Financing program will provide commercial loans ranging $12.5 million and $60 million to medium-sized businesses whose credit needs exceed what is already available through the Business Credit Availability Program and other measures.
  • Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) provides businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19, access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs. HASCAP is available to businesses that operate in sectors such as tourism and hospitality, restaurants and those that primarily rely on in-person services. Available through financial institutions until June 30, 2021.
  • Regional Relief and Recovery Fund is providing over $1.5 billion  to help more businesses and organizations in sectors such as manufacturing, technology, tourism and others that are key to the regions and to local economies. This fund is specifically targeted to those that may require additional help to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, but have been unable to access other support measures.
  • Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. Deadline to apply is March 31, 2021.
  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy provides a direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage subsidy of up to 65% of eligible expenses to qualifying businesses, charities and non-profits. Qualifying organizations that have been significantly restricted by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority can receive an additional 25% of rent support through the Lockdown Support. The combined effect of the rent subsidy and the Lockdown Support is that hard-hit businesses, non-profits and charities subject to a lockdown can receive rent support of up to 90%. The rent subsidy and the Lockdown Support are available until June 2021.
  • Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund supporting Black business owners and entrepreneurs through the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund that will provide loans of between $25,000 and $250,000. This initiative is part of the Black Entrepreneurship Program, in which we are investing up to nearly $93 million. More details on eligibility requirements and how to apply will be available soon through the federal government.
  • Indigenous Community Business Fund provides First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities and collectives can access funding to support their community-owned businesses whose revenues have been affected by COVID-19.
  • Relief Measures for Indigenous Businesses providing $306.8 million in funding to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offer financing to these businesses.
  • Provincial Government Business Supports

Additional Supports

  • If you are a tourism operator or small- or medium- sized business or organization and have received RDA funding and COVID-19 is affecting your operations, you are encouraged to contact the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) to  review your situation and provide guidance.
    • You may be eligible to receive additional funding and/or flexible arrangements.
    • Further support will be determined on a case-by-case basis as the situation evolves.
  • If you are a tourism operator or small- or medium- sized business or organization impacted by the sudden shifts in the economy and need pressing assistance, ACOA could assist you with:
    • Access to federal funding to help you stay in business.
    • Advice and pathfinding services to other federal programs and services available.

Support For Employees & Self-Employed

  • Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who have stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) provides $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who:
    • Are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19
    • Are self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19
    • have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers:
    • unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19
    • because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19.

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