Good afternoon, 

As New Brunswick’s COVID-19 cases continue to fall and the government has released the first round of recovery plans and guides, we are all starting to think about getting our organizations and our community back on its feet. 

As a first step in this process locally, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the City of Fredericton (Tourism), Downtown Fredericton Inc, Business Fredericton North, and Ignite Fredericton to launch the #SupportFredLocal partnership to encourage residents to buy from local businesses. 

The #SupportFredLocal partnership features a dedicated webpage which directs residents to businesses that are open or offering alternative forms of purchase like online shopping, take-out, and delivery during COVID-19. This partnership bolsters the tremendous work of the agencies in serving their members and creating ‘open-for-business’ lists. During the coming weeks, residents will see and hear various messaging designed to point residents to the #SupportFredLocal webpage 

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The Government of Canada is now accepting applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). Applications can be made through your ‘My Business Account’ or ‘Represent a Client’ (for tax preparers) portals. Alternatively, businesses may apply via the CRA website with their access code. All applications received between now and May 3 will be processed on May 4. A step-by-step guide can be found here.  

  • Please Note: Since our Tuesday update, we have continued to receive contradictory opinions from government officials on the issue of claiming CEWS on amounts that employees earning under $1000 per month and receiving CERB. We cannot get a clear answer whether this is going to be allowed or not. We will provide clarification if we are able in the coming days. 
  • If you apply for CEWS under these circumstances and get a definitive CRA ruling, please let our Policy and Research Manager Morgan Peters know! He can be reached at advocacy@frederictonchamber.ca.  

The federal government has engaged the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to administer and deliver the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, who launched a new website yesterday. They say program details including how funds will be disbursed and how to apply are being finalized and will be available soon. In the meantime, you can sign up for their email list and they will let you know when more details are available and when the application process opens. To access the page, click here.  

We also appreciate the feedback we have received regarding the CECRA program’s shortcomings and we are communicating these concerns to government.  

Atlantic Business Magazine and Grant Thornton are hosting a Virtual Town Hall at 10:00 AM on Friday, 1 May 2020 to address questions that businesses have about qualifying for Canada’s Emergency Wage Subsidy. The Town Hall aims to provide information regarding: 

  • Who is eligible? 
  • How does an eligible entity quality? 
  • How are revenues determined? 
  • How much can you expect to receive? 
  • Why should you apply for the CEWS? 
  • Will You be able to apply in the weeks/months to come? 

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Today, Premier Higgs announced a further 14-day extension of the provincial State of Emergency declaration.   

Revisions made to the order include: 

  • All licences, registrations, certificates and permits issued under provincial laws that were valid as of March 16, previously extended to May 31, have been extended again to June 30. Many renewals can be done online at www.snb.ca
  • A new paragraph has been added to authorize municipal councils and council committees to hold more meetings electronically. The Local Governance Act normally limits councillors’ participation electronically rather than in person. 

Today’s news release can be found here. Yesterday’s news release can be found here

ICYMI: With the announcement of a phased recovery plan by the provincial government last week, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer has published a Guidance Document of General Public Health Measures During COVID-19 Recovery. It contains important information regarding reopening your business when the State of Emergency declaration is lifted in phases. 

Thank you to the Cox & Palmer Employment and Labour Group in Fredericton for providing the following summary of updates to the Employment Standards Act regarding obligations to grant leaves of absence as a result of COVID-19. 

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The City of Fredericton’s COVID-19 page includes information such as facility closures, operation of essential services, virtual City Council meetings, grocery store operation hours and more. The City previously announced that they would not disconnect water or sewer services for non-payment of bills during the COVID-19 pandemic. This week they reinstated parking fees in the downtown. 

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Thank you to Beauceron Security CEO and Fredericton Chamber of Commerce board member David Shipley for writing this article on rising cyber-crime risks during COVID-19 and some steps that organizations and individuals can take to protect themselves. 

Earlier this week, APEC hosted a webinar where President and CEO, David Chaundy highlighted the industry and fiscal impacts of COVID-19 in Atlantic Canada and shared his thoughts on the unfolding policy response. BDC’s Vice President, Research and Chief Economist, Pierre Cléroux, shared his view on the national and global economy. The webinar recording can be viewed here

Yesterday, Statistics Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce have released the results of the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions that we asked businesses to complete a couple of weeks ago and the Canadian business community responded – with over 13,000 completed surveys! There is a lot of valuable data to sort through – based on region, sector, business type, ownership and more. Read the news release for additional information. 

Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters has a published a new guide: Psychological Health & Safety – Tips & Insights. The resource is aimed at manufacturers, but it contains good information that any business can use. 

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The Canadian Mental Health Association’s 2020 Mental Health Week is May 4 – 10. This year, Mental Health Week is all about social connection. The association says: “While loneliness and social isolation cause all sorts of health issues, connecting with each other doesn’t just feel good; it’s good for our mental health.” The 2020 Mental Health Week Toolkit can be found here

Be sure to checkout CHMA New Brunswick’s resources – who have provided many free helpful webinars.  

Did you take me up on the suggestion to join the Province of NB 30-Day Mindfulness Challenge? I am on Day 3 of the challenge and encourage you to participate as well… if anyone signed on with me… you’ll know what I mean when I say…. let’s take a cue and take 5.   

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If you haven’t yet checked out the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce’s Open, Operational and/or Offering help business directory, now would be a great time to do so. We have made it more user friendly and continue to ask all local businesses that are open, operational and/or offering help to fill out this brief form to help us populate the page.  And please continue to share, share, share so our community knows the services that are available!  More than 400 businesses and organizations have listed their services, products and how you can access them including nearly 20 offering free services to assist you during this time!! 

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

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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