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Newfoundland and Labrador: 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 Newfoundland and Labrador 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 Newfoundland and Labrador.

Municipalities

Want to know what your municipality is doing to help businesses? We've got all the information on our municipal breakdown.

Newfoundland and Labrador State of Emergency

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced a public health state of emergency on March 18, 2020. As a result, the following facilities have been ordered to close:

  • Gyms and fitness facilities, including yoga studios, tennis and squash facilities
  • Dance studios
  • Businesses that hold a license under the Liquor Control Act whose primary purpose is the consumption of beer, wine, or spirits and that do not otherwise qualify as an exception
  • Cinemas
  • Arenas
  • Performance spaces
  • Bingo halls
  • All private health clinics, expect physician and nurse practitioner clinics (if clinicians can provide virtual care, they are encouraged to do so)
  • Personal services establishments including spas, esthetic services, hair salons, body piercing, tattooing and tanning salons; and
  • Retail stores, unless those stores provide services essential to life, health or personal safety of individuals and animals, which include the following:
    • food;
    • pharmaceutical products, medicine and medical devices;
    • personal hygiene products;
    • cleaning products; 
    • baby and child products; 
    • gas stations; 
    • computer and cellphone service and repair; 
    • electronic and office supplies
    • hardware supplies; and
    • pet and animal supplies.

Restaurants are permitted to offer take-out, delivery and drive-thru services. In-person dining is prohibited.

Gatherings of 10 people or more are not permitted. This includes funerals, visitation and weddings.

With exceptions, as of March 21, 2020, anyone returning from outside Newfoundland and Labrador is required to self-isolate for 14 days. The exceptions are identified here

A corporation found in breach of these orders could face a fine of $5,000 to $50,000.

Supports for Business

Loan payments on business loans administered by the Innovation and Business Investment Corporation are deferred by three months.

Workers safety training certificates that expired since February 28, 2020 have been extended to June 30, 2020, with workers having to recertify by August 30, 2020.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has yet to announce supports for the self-employed.

Workers’ Compensation

WorkplaceNL has provided employers with a workers' compensation premium payment deferral until June 30, 2020.

WorkplaceNL is offering reduced services at this time, but is prepared to help with any questions business owners may have. Employers are able to revise their payroll estimates at any time.

There are a number of webinars being offered by WorkplaceNL and the schedule is as follows:

April 6: Best practices for working during coronavirus

April 8: Ensuring a Safer Workplace with Effective Workplace Inspections

April 15: Reporting requirements for serious injuries

You can register here. Webinars run from 10 - 11:30 am (NDT).

For more detailed information, please visit the Newfoundland and Labrador COVID-19 information page.

Employment Standards

The provincial government has placed FAQs on the website of the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour to provide information on labour standards during COVID-19. If you need to temporarily lay employees off during this crisis, you may have to seek legal advice on what notice should be given.

What is CFIB doing?

CFIB’s legislative team in Newfoundland and Labrador are working to ensure the provincial government knows what your business needs. Currently, we are asking the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to do the following:

  • Provide a direct wage subsidy to supplement the federal wage subsidy;
  • Pause tax filings and payments for Harmonized Sales Tax, Health and Post-secondary Education Tax, etc.;
  • Provide a six-month extension of permits and licences set to expire by March 31, 2020;
  • Freeze all audits across the provincial government;
  • Ensure there is no requirement under provincial labour standards to give or pay notice for temporary layoffs; and
  • Create a Joint Red Tape Reduction Committee with the goal of streamlining government processes and reducing the amount of required paperwork for government licence and permit approvals.

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.