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2020-04-2 - COVID-19 Update

Good afternoon, 

Earlier today, I joined with my colleagues John Wishart, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton and David Duplisea, CEO of the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to NB Small Business Minister Mary Wilson. We thanked Minister Wilson and her colleagues for the work done thus far as well as compiled and summarized the various ways that we have suggested that the provincial government can provide further assistance to business during the COVID-19 crisis. These include: 

  • Defer all taxes and fees owed to the Government of New Brunswick until revenue streams improve – specifically this would include property taxes.  
  • Freeze all payments to government entities without penalties or interest.  
  • Do not implement any new regulations, taxes or fees  
  • Allow restaurants to provide take-out alcohol service as has been done in Alberta, Ontario,  
  • Nova Scotia and other provinces.   
  • Modify the Small Business Investor Tax Credit to allow business owners to invest their personal savings into their existing businesses in the coming months and receive the 50% personal credit during next year’s tax period.  
  • Develop a Small Business Rental Deferral Guarantee Programs, similar to PEI and Nova Scotia  
  • The development of an Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging and Printed Paper regime be put on hold until the crisis subsides.  
  • Forming a Business/Employee COVID-19 Response Team, similar to one that has been set up and led by government in Nova Scotia. 

The full letter can be found here


We are continuing to seek further details on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Local businesses have identified gaps in the program based on what has been announced so far that we are communicating to government. These include the long timeline until funds will start to flow (“approximately six weeks”) and issues that companies in growth mode will have accessing the subsidy. 

The government’s press release on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy from 1 April 2020 can be found here

The government’s backgrounder on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy can be found here

The government has updated their information page for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”). Details and FAQs can be found here


Service New Brunswick is seeking help from businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support the Government of New Brunswick’s response to COVID-19.  

If you’re a supplier interested in selling (or donating) such products or services to the Government of New Brunswick, including to the health sector, please complete the “Supplier Inbox Form” posted on our website here and send it to  

You can refer to the Government of Canada’s “Specifications for COVID-19 Products” for additional information on the types of products we are seeking to obtain. However, note that other product specifications may also be acceptable. 

Today Premier Higgs announced several changes to the province’s State of Emergency declaration. Highlights include: 

  • Commercial landlords are not permitted to evict tenants for non-payment of rent due after 19 March 2020 until 31 My 2020. 
  • Campgrounds are prohibited from admitting patrons. 
  • Owners/managers of seasonal docking for recreational vessels must either prohibit docking or take reasonable steps to ensure persons (who do not reside together) do not come within 2 metres of each other. 
  • Everyone is prohibited from knowingly approaching within 2 meters of another person (except those with whom they reside). Best efforts must be used, inadvertent contact does not violate this section. (social distancing) 
    • Workplaces are exempt. 

A list of changes to the State of Emergency declaration can be found here

The full State of Emergency declaration can be found here

Today’s provincial news release can be found here. 

Today, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development announced that unless the situation drastically improves (which is not expected), schools in New Brunswick will not be reopened to students and the school calendar will not be extended. The department will release home learning plans and resources for families to support the continuity of learning while schools remain closed to students. More details are forthcoming. The full press release from today can be found here


Fredericton Mayor Mike O’Brien calls on citizens of Fredericton to make some noise from home for essential workers this Saturday, April 4, 2020 from 7 to 7:10 pm. 

This citywide event will pay tribute to essential workers on the frontlines and behind the scenes during the COVID-19 pandemic. To participate, just step out on your front step, driveway, balcony, or lean out a window. 

  • Make some noise for essential workers on Saturday, April 4, 2020 from 7 to 7:10 pm. 
  • Send a message of thanks from your home to those people keeping our city running during COVID-19. 
  • Share your pictures with us on social media using the hashtag: #FrederictonThanksHeroes 

The City of Fredericton reminds residents of the importance of following the guidelines put in place by health officials to help stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The City’s news release can be found here


Ignite Fredericton is conducting a survey to gather information about the local economic impact of COVID-19. I encourage all businesses to participate as the data obtained will help inform the development of responsive and effective economic support programs. The survey should take 5 minutes or less to complete. 

Does your business participate in our Group Insurance Plan?  “The Chambers Plan” has created a COVID-19 Business Resource Centre which includes advice, tools and the latest update to support Canadian businesses and their employees. 


The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce’s Open, Operational and/or Offering help business directory is live. We are asking 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 available! 


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. 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. / (506) 461-5165 / (506) 470-5593 


Krista Ross, CEO, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce 


Chamber Blog

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