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New Brunswick: COVID-19 relief measures for your business

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.
 

New Brunswick COVID-19 Recovery Process: What businesses are allowed to operate in Phase Three?

IMPORTANT - Zone 5 (Campbellton region) is currently in the Orange level (retrograded on May 27)

Zone 5 extends from Whites Brook to the Village of Belledune, including Tide Head, Atholville, Campbellton, Dalhousie, Eel River Dundee, Eel River Bar First Nation, Balmoral, Charlo and Belledune.

The following rules apply to Zone 5 only:

  • Non-regulated health professionals and businesses such as acupuncturists and naturopaths cannot operate at this time.
  • Personal services businesses such as barbers, hair stylists, spas, estheticians, manicurists, pedicurists, and tattoo artists cannot operate at this time.
  • Gyms, yoga and dance studios, pool halls and bowling alleys and overnight camps cannot operate at this time.

As part of Phase Three of the recovery plan the following businesses will be newly permitted to operate while observing their obligations (see section New Brunswick COVID-19 Recovery Process: Your obligations as an employer):

  • Retail facilities
  • Restaurants, bars, pubs, and taprooms
  • Offices/other businesses
  • Personal services businesses such as barbers, hair stylists, spas, estheticians, manicurists, pedicurists and tattoo artists
  • Non-emergency health services such as dental, physiotherapy, optometry, and massage therapy
  • Non-regulated health professionals/businesses
  • Leisure Fishing Operators
  • Golf courses and driving ranges
  • Marinas
  • Gyms, yoga and dance studios (May 29th)
  • Pool halls and bowling alleys
  • Daycare, camps and childcare
  • Seasonal campgrounds and outdoor recreational operators, such as zoos and outfitters

Businesses not included in phase three may be able to operate while modifying their operations and by observing orders as described in the Renewed and revised Mandatory Order COVID-19. Businesses who require clarifications can contact the Business Navigator service by phone at 1-833-799-7966 or by email [email protected]  

New Brunswick COVID-19 Recovery Process: Your obligations as an employer

Do you have questions about how to safely get back to business as the New Brunswick economy reopens?

Read our New Brunswick Reopening Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any outstanding questions or concerns about the province's reopening plan please contact CFIB directly at 1-888-234-2232 or email at [email protected]
 

COVID-19 Operational Plan - Requirement

As different types of businesses are allowed to reopen in phases, your business must create and implement a COVID-19 Operational plan. 

  • The plan must follow the recommendations and requirements of Public Health;
  • The plan must outline how your business will manage the safe opening and operation of your business;
  • A copy of the plan must be present at the workplace and available for review by government officials;
  • Public Health Inspectors, WorkSafe NB or the Department of Public Safety may perform unannounced or pre-scheduled visits at your place of business.

Businesses should review the WorkSafeNB guide “Embracing the New Normal as We Safely Return to Work – Guidelines for New Brunswick workplaces re-opening in a COVID-19 environment”, the Public Health document “Guidance Document of General Public Health Measures During COVID-19 Recovery” and the WorkSafeNB “COVID-19 - Frequently Asked Questions”. Businesses that cannot adapt to all of the minimum requirements should not open in phase two.

Additional instructions are in place for early learning centers, childcare and day camps. See COVID-19 Recovery Phase: Guidance to Early Learning and Childcare Facilities and Day Camps.

Businesses who require clarifications can contact the Business Navigator service by phone at 1-833-799-7966 or by email [email protected]  

Businesses looking to procure personal protective equipment join CFIB’s “PPEs for SMEs” Facebook group and consult the Service New Brunswick supplier list.

COVID-19 Signage in Public Areas

You must affix signage on proper hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and physical distancing throughout the facility and outdoor settings as applicable. At a minimum, signage must be placed at any common entrance and location where people tend to congregate.

Physical Distancing in your business

You must insure physical distancing of 2 meters (6 feet) at all times for both your clients and employees in your business. 

  • Clients and employees must not be permitted to congregate in groups;
  • Where possible, a designated staff should monitor adherence to physical distancing requirements on premises;
  • Customers may partake in their activity while maintaining physical distancing requirements; 
  • The workplace may need to be altered to insure physical distancing requirements (i.e. arrange furniture position to allow 2 meter rule, provide visual cues on floor for distancing and for directional movement of clients);
  • Situations where interfacing between staff and customers is common might deserve special considerations for mutual protection (i.e. installing a plexiglass screen at the cash); 
  • In elevators, the number of people getting into each car to no more than 2 at a time. People should consider only riding the elevator with their own family, taking the stairs, or waiting for the next elevator.

The physical distancing procedures must be detailed in the COVID-19 Operational Plan of your business (see the COVID-19 Operational Plan – Requirement section of this page) and you must affix physical distancing signage in the appropriate places (see the COVID-19 Signage in Public Areas section of this page).
 

Cleaning and Disinfection Procedures

  • You must ensure that all common areas of your business are cleaned and disinfected twice daily, or more often as required (e.g., if soiled).
  • Items such as countertops, chairs (including below the front of the seat), rental/shared equipment, cashier equipment, light switches, public washrooms, door knobs, and furniture will need to be disinfected more frequently throughout the day.
  • Regular household cleaners, disinfectant wipes or a diluted bleach solution can be used according to the label directions. Information on cleaning and disinfection can be found on the Government of New Brunswick website. Disposable gloves should be used when cleaning surfaces. Employees and clients should be removed from the area during cleaning. 
  • You must ensure that all the necessary supplies such as hot/cold potable running water, liquid soap, paper towel, and garbage bins, for handwashing; or minimum 60% alcoholbased hand sanitizer; toilet paper, cleaning and disinfecting supplies and personal protection equipment (non-medical masks and disposable gloves) are available as appropriate.
  • A staff member should delegated responsibility to monitor supplies to ensure stock is maintained during operating hours.

The cleaning and disinfection procedures as well as the management of supplies must be detailed in the COVID-19 Operational Plan of your business (see the COVID-19 Operational Plan – Requirement section of this page) with clear accountabilities assigned to specific staff. 
 

Screening your employees before every shift

You should actively pre-screen your employees before the beginning of each shift by using the Screening Questionnaire for COVID-19 and advise those who are either symptomatic and/or have been advised by Public Health to self-isolate, to remain home and not enter the premises.

Your employee screening procedure should be detailed in the COVID-19 Operational Plan of your business (see the COVID-19 Operational Plan – Requirement section of this page).
 

Point of purchase and Handling of money

You must ensure that hand hygiene supplies are available for both employees and customers at the point of purchase.

Use of electronic payment devices are preferred when possible. 

However, if employees must handle money, always ensure regular handwashing and have minimum 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer readily available. Employees should not touch their face after handling money.
 

Washrooms

Where public washrooms are available, they must be equipped with hot and cold running water under pressure, liquid soap, paper towel, toilet paper, and garbage containers. Handwash signs must be posted (see the COVID-19 Signage in Public Areas section of this page).
 

Handwashing Stations

When handwashing stations are used they should enable handwashing by providing clean water, soap, paper towel, and a disposal bin. In the absence of this, minimum 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be made available. Handwash signs must be posted (see the COVID-19 Signage in Public Areas section of this page).
 

Screening of customers

In addition to your signage requirements (see the COVID-19 Signage in Public Areas section), you should advise customers who are either symptomatic and/or have been advised by Public Health to self-isolate, to remain home and not enter the premises.

Posting information on COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, headache, sore throat, runny nose) will help to enable and reinforce passive screening of patrons.

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.

The Business Property Tax Penalty Relief Program details can be found here. Businesses with question can contact Finance and Treasury Board, Revenue Administration Division at 1-800-669-7070.

Commercial Leases: No Evictions

Under section 24 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. 

Licenses, registrations certificates and permits: Deferred

Under section 22 of the renewed and revised Mandatory Order COVID-19, all licenses, registrations, certificates and permits issued by the Province of New Brunswick valid as of March 16th, 2020 shall remain valid until May 31st 2020 unless suspended by a court or by other authority under an Act of the Province.

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.

Working capital for NB small business owners

  • Small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for working capital loans up to $100,000 through the NB Small Business Emergency Working Capital Program.  
  • Accessible to small businesses employing 1 to 49 employees, including sole proprietors/self-employed, with sales of less than $10 million in the most recent fiscal year.
  • Examples of sectors that would benefit from this support include restaurants, full time & seasonal tourism operations, service sectors, and self-employed business owners impacted directly by the pandemic.
  • The loans are funded by Government of New Brunswick and are administered by the Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC). Applications can be completed on online.

NB Business working capital above $100,000

  • Opportunities New Brunswick is making available working capital loans to assist employers respond to the challenges associated with COVID-19.
  • Working capital in excess of $100,000, up to a maximum of $1 million is available.
  • Examples of sectors that would benefit from this support are manufacturing and processing industries, information technology and related sectors, business-to-business service sectors engaged in export, or import replacement activities, and cultural enterprises.
  • Business can apply directly to 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 Emergency Mandatory Order

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.
  • 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.
 

Licensed dining rooms: Alcohol with take-out and delivery

New Brunswick has agreed to allow licensees to sell alcohol from licensed dining rooms with take-out and delivery meals. Licensees must ensure they take all reasonable steps to ensure no delivery to minors or to intoxicated persons.

Since permission to sell alcohol with take-out and delivery is within the Emergency Order it is temporary in nature. Government has indicated it is their intention to make these provisions permanent once the Legislature is in session. While there are few limitations with the current measures, Restaurants Canada urges prudence and encourages restaurateurs to use strict responsible service practices for the sale of alcohol. This will ensure a smooth transition to making these measures permanent.
 

Supports for Aboriginal Businesses

The Ulnooweg Development Group has been providing loans and business support to Aboriginal businesses in Atlantic Canada since 1986. The group has announced two measures to help support Aboriginal businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • payment deferrals and interest relief on loans between April 1 and June 30, 2020, and
  • a one-time grant of up to $5,000 for consulting services to help entrepreneurs access and apply for federal and provincial COVID-19 business support programs.

Information on the support is available on the Ulnooweg site.

Mental Health Resources

With Canada firmly in the grip of COVID-19, it is anything but business as usual.  Many businesses are closing their doors and laying off staff, others have employees refusing to come to work. We are all stressed and everyone is worried about their health and financial well-being.  Amidst this turbulence, you as a business leader are scrambling to keep your business afloat while leading your staff through these uncertain times.

Here are links to resources you can access if you’re feeling overwhelmed:

New Brunswick

Federal

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:

  • Move from the existing “case by case approach” on late property tax penalties to a clear full waiver of penalties and interest for SMEs on property taxes.
  • Province should move immediately to reduce the provincial portion of the non-residential (commercial) property taxes by a minimum of 50 per cent for small and medium sized business and commercial renters.
  • Province should extend rent eviction protection for commercial tenants beyond May 31st 
  • CFIB recommends the creation of a provincial hardship grant of $5,000 a month to those forced to fully or partially close by provincial governments and those most affected by revenue losses. These funds could be used by businesses to cover rent or fixed costs.
  • Government should move its current and future programs for small businesses from “deferrals/loans” to “holidays/grants”
  • Province should promptly pay all small businesses which do business with the government within five days
  • Province should freeze all audits across the provincial government for at least three months.
  • Provide a six-month extension of provincial permits and licenses that are set to expire during the pandemic.

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.