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Nova Scotia programs | COVID-19: Funding and financial relief programs for startups and small businesses

Canada Publication June 2020

A detailed table outlining the various programs available in Nova Scotia are listed below. If you would like to discuss your eligibility for any of these programs, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)’s Atlantic Innovation Fund

Description Eligibility Application details
  • The AIF helps Atlantic Canadians develop and bring to market new products and services that lead to market success, help grow strategic sectors, or lead to the creation of research and commercialization partnerships. To find out more, including who can apply and how much assistance is available, please see our Frequently Asked Questions or contact ACOA 
  • To be eligible, you are a business, co-operative, university, college, or research institution looking to: develop and bring to market new products and services that meet market demands and global quality standards; adapt new technology to meet business needs or respond to market opportunities; or help Atlantic Canada’s new and traditional sectors pursue opportunities, solve challenges, stay competitive and grow
  • To submit an application for financial assistance, click here

Propel Accelerator 

Description Eligibility Application details
  • Propel is an accelator program devoted exclusively to Atlantic Canada. Propel works with technology companies that have potential to scale quickly.
  • The program offers mentorship and may assist with early stage funding by connecting companies to investors.
  • There are no up-front costs to join
  • The program is flexible and accepts a wide range of early stage technology companies, whether led by solo founders or larger teams, and at various stages of their growth
  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Submit your application here

Small Business Credit and Support Program

Description Eligibility Application details
  • Eligible small businesses can get a loan of up to $25,000 through participating provincial credit unions. The loan application will be available from April 29 to June 30, 2020
  • If you are approved for the loan, you will also be eligible for:
    • a one-time grant of up to $1,500
    • a business continuity voucher of up to $1,500, which gives businesses access to professional advice and support to help adapt to or recover from the e ects of COVID-19. The voucher program will be available until May 29, 2020. Projects funded by the program must be completed by July 3, 2020
  • Both small businesses and non-profits are eligible for the COVID-19 Small Business Credit and Support Program (including sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, co-operatives, societies and social enterprises)
  • To learn more and apply for a business support program, click here

Nova Scotia announces funding for startups and innovation

Description Eligibility Application details
  • Nova Scotia is investing $750,000 to help startup businesses seize opportunities emerging from COVID-19. Business incubators Volta, Ignite and the Organization for Nova Scotia Innovation-Driven Enterprise (ONSIDE) will receive funding to help new businesses get off the ground. Funding through Innovacorp will support startup activities in Cape Breton. The funding agreements are for one year, ending June 2021
  • Early stage companies that are working on projects emerging from COVID-19 may be eligible and are encouraged to apply. 
  • Apply through local accelerators, including Volta, Ignite, Innovacorp, and ONSIDE

Commercial Rent Deferral 

Description Eligibility Application details
  • Landlords are encouraged to defer rent payments from their commercial tenants for 3 months, spreading the deferred rent amount over the rest of the lease term
  • Landlords deferring rent because their tenant’s business is closed due to the Health Protection Act order could be eligible for coverage (up to a maximum of $50,000 per landlord and $15,000 per tenant) if the deferred rent cannot be recover  
  • To learn about the specific eligibility criteria, click here          


  • To learn about the application process, click here   



Changes to Payments 

Description Eligibility Application details
  • Will defer payments until June 30 for all government loans, including those under the Farm Loan Board, Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, Jobs Fund, Nova Scotia Business Fund, Municipal Finance Corp. and Housing Nova Scotia
  • Will defer payments until June 30 for small business renewal fees, including business registration renewal fees and workers compensation premiums
  • Changes to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, administered through credit unions, will include deferring principal and interest payments until June 30, 2020, enhancing the program to make it easier for businesses to access credit up to $500,000
  • Small businesses that do business with the government will be paid within five days instead of the standard 30 days
  • Businesses based in Nova Scotia may be eligible. Click here to learn more

WCB Nova Scotia  

Description Eligibility Application details
  • WCB Nova Scotia will defer all employer premium payments until July 2020
  • Late fees and interest will not be charged until further notice
  • Nova Scotia employers may be eligible  
  • N/A

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