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COVID-19 Tourism Business Supports

The federal and provincial governments have announced a range of programs to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tourism Nova Scotia also shares updates and program opportunities through our inTouch industry newsletter.

Please note, many programs have recently changed their eligibility criteria or deadlines, and may now be applicable to your situation even if you inquired previously. Only programs currently accepting applications are included on this page. Please read on for details. 

Federal Government Programs

RRRF - Patio Extension Project

What: Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia (RANS) grants of up to $1500 to support the extension of patio seasons in the specific areas of overhead awnings/ coverings, side walls/ weather buffers, and propane/gas/electrical heaters. Funding provided through ACOA’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF).

Who: Eligible Nova Scotian restaurants (small, medium, and large) and be distributed fairly across the seven tourism regions of the province. 

More info: Please contact the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia directly - Office: (902) 429-5343 | Toll free: 1-800-655-3463|Email: 

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) 

What: Commercial rent or property expenses (property taxes, property insurance and insurance on commercial mortgages) support of up to 65%. From March 13, 2022, to May 7, 2022, the subsidy rates will decrease by half.

Application deadline: November 20, 2021.

Who: Qualifying businesses affected by COVID-19 can apply directly. Landlord participation is not required. 

More info: 

CERS Lockdown Support

What: Additional commercial rent or property expenses support of 25%. 

Application deadline: November 20, 2021. 

Who: Businesses significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more. 

More info: 

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

What: Income support of $500 per week for up to 38 weeks.

Who: Income support if you are self-employed or are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI). 

Application Deadline: November 20, 2021 

More info: 

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

What: Subsidy of up to 75% of employee salary/wages for qualifying eligible employers to keep and re-hire employees and avoid layoffs. 

Application Deadline: November 20, 2021. 

Who: Businesses who have seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19. 

Note: Eligible employers can only claim CEWS or CRHP for a certain period, not both.                                                
More info: 

Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP)

What: Subsidy of up to 50% of employee salary/wages, available to eligible employers so they can hire more workers, increase workers’ hours, or increase wages.

Who: Businesses who have seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19. 

Claim period: June 6 - November 20, 2021

More info:  

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)

What: Loans between $25,000 and $1 million to   cover operational cash flow needs. The loans feature a 4% interest rate, a repayment term of up to 10 years, and up to a 12 month postponement of principal payments.

Who: Small & medium-sized businesses that have seen their revenues decrease by 50% or more due to COVID-19.

Application Deadline: December 31, 2021

More info:

Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund

What: Loans of up to $250,000 through the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund.

Who: Black business owners and entrepreneurs. 

Note: The Loan Fund is now accepting loan applications through the Federation of African Canadian Economics (FACE).

More info: 


Tourism Relief Fund

What: Repayable contributions up to $500,000 and non-repayable contributions up to $100,000 for businesses and organizations to help them adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate future growth.

Who: Tourism businesses, non-profit organizations such as tourism associations, band councils and other Indigenous organizations and cooperatives.

More info: 

Propel Student Work Placement Program

What: A wage subsidy of up to 75% of a qualifying student’s wages, to a maximum of $7,500.

Who: Students enrolled at a recognized post-secondary institution can apply for a paid position with tourism and hospitality businesses to fulfil the co-op or internship component of their program.

More info:

Provincial Government Programs

Digital Assistance Program for Small Business

What: Up to $5,000 in services from qualified digital consultants for website development, digital marketing strategies and e-commerce tools.

Who: Businesses that qualified for the Small Business Impact Grant Part 3 will be automatically eligible for the program. If capacity allows, the program will be expanded to other businesses.

More info:

Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

What: Term loans, working capital and lines of credit up to $500,000

Who: All businesses except residential and commercial real estate, beverage rooms and taverns 

More info: