The new deadline for accepting applications for the Small Business Assistance Program, the Tourism and Hospitality Support Program, and the Artist Support Program is March 11, 2021.
Approved applicants to date have received funding to assist with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic including revenue losses and increased costs associated with adapting businesses and enhancing health and safety protocols.
Employers can apply for wage support to create summer job opportunities for Island students. The Jobs for Youth Program supports non-profit organizations, municipalities, and public and private businesses with funding to create summer jobs for students aged 15-29 who plan to return to school in the following school year.
The Jobs for Youth Program covers 100 percent of the minimum wage for non-profit and public sector employees and 50 per cent of the minimum wage for private sector employees.
Effective April 1, the provincial government is increasing the minimum wage from $11.70 per hour to $11.75 per hour.
The minimum wage rate is indexed to New Brunswick’s consumer price index, rounded to the nearest five cents. The New Brunswick consumer price index grew by 0.22 per cent in 2020.
There are currently about 20,000 minimum wage earners in New Brunswick, or about six per cent of the paid workforce.
The increase is not directly related to the pandemic, but the government acknowledged being “mindful of the financial realities faced by both employees and employers, particularly as we endure the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The provincial government has temporarily relaxed the eligibility criteria for the refundable tax credits for childcare expenses, and the deduction for products and services to support a person with a disability.
This is a harmonization with previously announced federal government measures. These changes will apply for the 2020 and 2021 tax years.
The provincial government announced an investment of $1,218,000 to support workforce training in the Capitale-Nationale region, particularly in the priority sectors of health, construction and information technology.
This investment will allow the government to sign nine agreements to set up short-term training courses aimed at 125 job seekers in fields where labor demand is high.
The provincial government announced the renewal of the Saskatchewan Tourism Sector Support Program (STSSP). The original program provided $14.5 million in financial assistance to 761 eligible businesses between August and October, 2020.
The STSSP provides financial assistance to eligible tourism businesses in the accommodations, attraction and tours, events, and major event facility sectors.
The STSSP is targeted to businesses who have experienced a loss of sales revenue of at least 30 per cent in 2020 when compared to 2019. The program will begin accepting applications on March 8 and the deadline to apply is April 30021 of up to $5,000 per month.
The provincial government announced an extension of the Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment (SSBEP). Financial assistance in this extension includes a payment for both February and March 2020.
Alberta parents who use child care will receive $561 per child with the new Working Parents Benefit, a one-time payment to help parents with the cost of child care.
Families will be eligible to apply for the Working Parents Benefit if they have children in any form of child care, including licensed or unlicensed child care, a household annual income of $100,000 or less, and provided they paid for three months of child care between April 1 and Dec. 31, 2020 (receipts required).
The Working Parents Benefit adds to the recently announced Critical Worker Benefit, a $1,200 payment to 330,000 front-line and essential workers, and the Enhanced COVID Business Benefit, a $10,000 support for businesses hit hardest by the pandemic.
The application period runs from March 1 to March 31, 2021.
The third intake of the province’s Work Experience Opportunities Grant has opened with expanded eligibility.
The grants were established in 2020 for non-profit organizations, allowing them to apply for $5,000 per participant for 12-week work experience placements.
Any person qualified to receive income assistance or disability assistance, as well as Indigenous people on reserve qualified to receive federal assistance, can now be considered as a participant. For the first two intakes, only people with disabilities or persistent multiple barriers to employment were considered eligible participants.
Organizations can increase the number of participants they provide work experience to from five to 10. Private-sector businesses, social enterprises and non-profit organizations may apply.
Clickhere to apply for the Work Experience Opportunities Grant.
Changes to allow restaurants, bars and tourism operators with liquor licences to purchase beer, wine and spirits at the wholesale price set by the BC Liquor Distribution Branch are now permanent.
Temporary changes to allow for wholesale pricing for the hospitality industry were implemented June 2020 and set to expire March 31, 2021.
The provincial government is providing almost $400,000 to North West Industries Association to deliver essential and occupational skills training over two intakes of its Industrial Sewing Project, allowing up to 30 eligible British Columbians to receive skills training to prepare them for jobs in the industrial sewing industry.
Participants will receive 11 weeks of occupational, employability and life-skills training, four weeks of on-the-job work experience with local employers, and two weeks of follow-up support to assist their job search. Among other things, participants will learn the safe and efficient operation of a variety of industrial sewing machines, receive an introduction to mass production methods, language skills, and conflict resolution training.
The territorial government is extending and expanding several COVID-19 economic programs to support Yukon businesses.
The Yukon Business Relief Program will relaunch on April 1. Yukon businesses that previously benefited from the program can reapply for additional support until September 30, 2021.
The Paid Sick Leave Rebate, which supports employers who pay workers to stay home if they become sick or are required to self-isolate, is also being relaunched on April 1, and extended until September 30, 2021.
Restaurants and other businesses with a liquor licence that are struggling will be eligible to receive a discount of 25 per cent off the retail price of liquor until September 30, 2021.
Small and medium-sized businesses can apply to the Regional Relief Loan Program, which will provide up to $100,000 in deferred-interest, partially forgivable loans with no payments until January 1, 2023.
A number of supports will also continue through Yukon’s Tourism Relief and Recovery Plan. These include extension of the $4 million Tourism Accommodation and Non-Accommodation sector supplements to September 30, 2021; a $450,000 contribution to Yukon’s ELEVATE business mentoring program; and a $300,000 enhancement to the Tourism Cooperative Marketing Fund, bringing the total to $1 million.
The territorial government is providing funding to tourism operators that have exhausted the support available to them under the federal government’s Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF) and Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF).
Eligible operators will be able to claim up to $50,000 for expenses which can include: rent/mortgage; utilities (heat; electric; water and sewer; phone and internet); subscriptions (for example: financial or booking systems); and insurance.
This is a one-time funding initiative designed to help companies through to April 1, 2021 when new government supports are anticipated to become available. Expenses already covered by federal payments under the NBRF and the RRRF will not be eligible.