March 25, 2020 

Good afternoon members, 

We have been sending our daily updates via our member database ‘Chamber Master’ as well as via our Eblast system to our larger list of contacts – in fact, many are receiving both. If you know someone who had been receiving it through our database and may have missed a couple – please encourage them to sign up for our e-blast list here as we are experiencing a few technical difficulties with our member database and are concerned not everyone is receiving the updates.  Of course, all daily emails are also available on our website by clicking here we are continuing to share them on our social media vehicles (FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram). 

The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce has launched and is now populating a new resource on our website – a directory of businesses in the Fredericton are that are Open, Operational and/or Offering help to other businesses through the crisis. We are asking all local businesses that are open, operational and/or offering help to fill out this brief form to help us populate this page.  And please share, share, share! 

 
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Earlier today Prime Minister Trudeau stated that the federal government is combining and simplifying two support programs announced last week (Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit). Individuals who have had their employment impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, including the self-employed, are eligible for the new Emergency Response Benefit, which will pay out $2000 per month for four months. An online portal to apply is planned to open on 6 April 2020 and payments are meant to be received 10 days after applying. 

Last night, the federal government passed emergency legislation required to implement to $82B relief package announced on 18 March 2020. The legislation gives Finance Minister Bill Morneau additional spending powers, along with two oversight committees and regular reports to parliament. 

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Today Premier Higgs announced restrictions for all travelers who are arriving from outside the province, including interprovincial/territorial and international travel. People entering New Brunswick will have to follow self-isolation procedures for 14 days and then comply with the province’s State of Emergency order (now updated to reflect the additional restrictions). Unnecessary travel into New Brunswick is prohibited. The full press release can be found here. 

Workers who are essential to the movement of goods and people are exempt from this restriction. This exemption applies to:  

  • Healthy workers in the trade and transportation sector who are important for the movement of goods and people across the border, such as truck drivers and crew on any plane, train or marine vessel crossing the border.  
  • Healthy people who must cross the border to go to work, including health care providers and critical infrastructure workers.  
  • New Brunswick residents who cross the provincial border daily to attend work.  
  • Residents of Campobello Island who must cross the border to access essential goods or services 

Part of the government’s efforts will include border checks at four points of entry to the province. For those who work or move goods across our borders will be required to produce identification, contact information and intended destinations, which are being collected and tracked for all travelers, including those travelling through New Brunswick to another province. Regular travelers for a commercial purpose may receive a card on their next crossing, which will get them access to an ‘express lane’ for future trips. The additional State of Emergency orders are sections 14 and 15 of the declaration

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We have heard from many property owners over the past week requesting that we advocate to the province for a deferral of property tax payments.  This request has been forwarded to the province on behalf of our members.  Additionally, at the request of our membership, the Fredericton chamber (along with our counterparts at both the Moncton and Saint John chambers), is advocating to the provincial government to extend the deadline to appeal property tax assessments beyond 1 April 2020. 

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Earlier today the Business Development Bank of Canada hosted a webinar to speak to the current state of Canada’s economy. You can watch a recording of that webinar here. Other COVID-19-specific information from BDC can be found here

The United Way organizations in NB are inviting applications to their Atlantic Compassion Fund, to support agencies and community programs in need of emergency funding to assist in their response to COVID 19. 

If you have questions about working from your office (within the recommendations and orders of the provincial government) with a limited number of individuals, businesses are asked to contact WorkSafeNB via email or 1-800-999-9775. 

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You are receiving this message because you are in our member database or via our email list. If you know other individuals or organizations that could benefit from our information, ask them to join our mailing list here

We also still want to hear how the COVID-19 Crisis is affecting your business and any specific ways that the government can support you at this time.  Contact either myself or our Policy & Research Manager, Morgan Peters to share information or ask questions. 

kristar@frederictonchamber.ca / (506) 461-5165 

advocacy@frederictonchamber.ca / (506) 470-5593 

Sincerely,  

Krista Ross, CEO, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce 

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