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New Brunswick: COVID-19 relief measures for your business

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We know that this is a difficult time, full of uncertainty. The information you need to run your business changes rapidly, and it can be hard to keep track and make sense of it all.  

In order to relieve some of the pressure on small businesses such as yours, we are gathering all the information you need about government services and supports in New Brunswick and putting it in this one location. We will continue working with governments to ensure additional relief measures become available for your business as the situation evolves.  

Please check back regularly. We will update this page as more information becomes available. 

Closures

Consult our guide to learn which businesses are currently closed in New Brunswick.
 

Property Taxes: Waiving Late Penalties

Though business property taxes must be paid by May 31, late penalties will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to see if the penalty can be waived due to undue financial challenges, such as having to close a business due to COVID-19.

Commercial Leases: No Evictions

Under section 21 of the renewed and revised Mandatory Order COVID-19 , no landlord shall, in relation to any commercial and any other type of non-residential lease, weather written or verbal, give any sort of notice to quit, re-enter or re-possess, or exercise any right of distress, until May 31 2020, for non-payment of rent that came due after March 19 2020.

Workers' Compensation: Deferred Premiums

WorksafeNB has deferred premium payments for 3 months

Information and updates on workers’ compensation issues related to COVID-19 can be found on the WorksafeNB website. You can find answers there to questions like: 

  • Are workers eligible for WCB benefits if they have COVID-19?
  • What happens if a worker files a claim?
  • Are quarantined or self-isolated workers eligible for benefits?
  • And much more.
NBPower: Deferrals

NB Power will defer electricity bill payments for residential and small business customers for up to 90 days for impacted customers, wage interest for past due balances and late payment charges issued after March 19, 2020 for impacted customers and extend existing payment arrangements for impacted customers. More information is available on the NBPower website. 

Provincial Government: Loans and Loan Deferrals

Deferring interest and principal payments on existing loans

As an immediate measure, and on a case-by-case basis – the Government of New Brunswick will defer loan and interest repayments for up to six months on existing provincial loans. This support will enable businesses to have immediate relief if they are experiencing difficulties as a result of COVID-19.

This assistance is available, on a case-by-case basis, to any business that has a loan with an existing Government of New Brunswick department. The deferral can be requested by contacting the department that issued the loan.

New operating loans for small business

To support our small businesses, the Government of New Brunswick will provide operating loans to support small businesses. Loans will help companies respond to challenges associated with COVID-19.

  • Loans will be up to $200,000.
  • Payments of interest and principal will not be required during the first 12 months.
  • Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB) will work with a trusted partner to administer the application process.
  • More details will be available on application process in the coming days.

Injecting needed working capital for mid-to-large employers

Opportunities New Brunswick will make available support mid-to-large sized employers. ONB will also provide – upon request – working capital in excess of $200,000 to help large employers manage the impacts of COVID-19 on their operations. Large employers will be able to apply for this assistance directly from Opportunities New Brunswick.

Business Navigator

New Brunswick businesses who have questions about provincial government support and regulations can contact the Business Navigator service by phone at 1-833-799-7966 or by email [email protected]

For more detailed information, please visit the New Brunswick COVID-19 information page, as well as the State of Emergency Interpretive Guidelines.

Self-Employed and Worker Emergency Income Benefit

A one-time income benefit of $900 will be provided to self-employed and workers in New Brunswick who have lost their job due to the state of emergency.  Applications for the New Brunswick Workers Emergency Income Benefit opens at noon, Monday, March 30th 2020. 

Employment Standards Requirements

Since the COVID-19 pandemic is an unforeseen circumstance, there is no requirement for an employer to provide notice of lay-off to an employee. 

What should an employer do when an employee tests positive for COVID-19 and may have been in the workplace interacting with co-workers before the diagnosis was confirmed?

The employee must immediately isolate themselves and follow guidance from the appropriate regional public health officials. Public Health will determine if there is a need to inform the employer of the test results. Public Health will advise anyone who has been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 to identify any control measures that are required to be put in place.

For the management of cases and contacts, Regional Public Health will provide the direction for follow up and advise if there is a need for employer action.

Regional public health will lead the process of tracing the identity of other persons that may have been exposed. Public Health may require the employer’s assistance in the process. As the employer, you are required to:

  • Cooperate with Health officials and adhere to the advice provided. Additional information on the tracing process used is below.
  • Report the potential exposure to WorkSafeNB by email ([email protected]) or calling 1 800 999-9775. 
  • With the guidance of Public Health, communicate with your staff and other workplace parties about measures they must take following the potential exposure. Public Health will also identify if any communication is needed external to your workplace.
  • Close or restrict access to the workplace to clean surfaces and equipment which the confirmed case was in contact with by following the guidelines developed by Health Canada for Hard-surface disinfectants for use against coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Follow any specific guidelines by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the New Brunswick Department of Health before re-occupying the workplace to comply with WorkSafeNB requirements.
  • Introduce a screening process for employees re-entering the workplace if such a process does not already exist. You can find information on the screening process and a screening tool developed by WorkSafeNB here
  • Re-evaluate the workplace including the preventive measures to determine if changes are required. You can consult WorkSafeNB for guidance.
  • If necessary, re-visit the business continuity plan.

Additional information on the difference between self-isolation and self-monitoring can be found below:

Public Health Agency of Canada: Difference between self-isolation and isolation
Government of New Brunswick: Self-monitor, self-isolate, and isolate

New Brunswick Department of Health – Public Health Contact Tracing Information

  • All positive COVID-19 cases are reported to the appropriate regional public health office.
  • Public Health staff contacts the individual who tested positive the same day they receive the results to inform them of their test result, provide instruction, and determine who they have been in close contact with.
  • Public Health conducts a risk assessment based on a detailed interview with the individual.
  • Public Health staff contacts all close contacts (and the workplace if appropriate) to identify any control measures that are required to be put in place.
  • If one of these close contacts tests positive, then the contact tracing process begins for that individual. 

As is the case for all contact tracing of cases, Public Health nurses and teams work daily with new cases to trace the contacts and have them self isolate. If there is workplace exposure or exposure to the public, Public Health determines what communications are needed within workplaces or with the public or media outlets. 

Every individual is entitled to privacy when it comes to Personal Heath Information and confidentiality is respected and adhered to during all aspects of the Public Health investigation.  
 

New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF): Support for COVID19 research

The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (NBHRF) have partnered to offer a new funding program to address public health challenges of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This fund will support research efforts to develop, test, and implement new, emerging methods of detecting and/or combatting COVID-19; and assessing its effects on people, communities, and the economy. Applications open on April 1st, 2020 and will close on April 20th, 2020 at 5 pm.
 

What is CFIB doing?

As we regularly communicate with the New Brunswick government to get answers to your questions, we are actively lobbying them to:

  • prompt payment.

FAQ on COVID-19

We’re dedicated to supporting your business through this difficult time by compiling answers to the most common COVID-19 questions and keeping you up to date on the latest relief measures from the federal government. Visit our Small Business Help Center to learn more.