The province of New Brunswick has announced a series of economic measures to build on the federal government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The province will provide income to support tax relief and funding for individuals and businesses.
Deferral of WorkSafeNB employer premiums
- Assessment premiums related to employer payrolls for February, March and April will be deferred for three months without interest charges. This affects employers who pay their premiums on a monthly basis and is not a permanent reduction in assessments payable, but a temporary postponement of payment.
- Employers who report their payroll monthly, still need to report their payroll—even it is $0.
- Employers who have already paid their assessments for the entire year may submit a revised payroll estimate—representing an increase or decrease—during the year and WorkSafeNB will adjust their account.
Business property taxes
- Late penalties on property taxes—due May 31—will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to see if the penalty can be waived because of undue financial challenges, such as having to close a business as a result of COVID-19.
Deferring interest and principal payments on existing loans
- As an immediate measure, the province will defer loan and interest repayments for up to six months on existing provincial loans.
- This assistance is available, on a case-by-case basis, to any business that has a loan with an existing government of New Brunswick department. The deferral can be requested by contacting the department that issued the loan.
Support for small business
- To support small businesses, the province will provide loans to help companies respond to challenges associated with COVID-19.
- Loans will be up to $200,000.
- Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB) will work with a trusted partner to administer the application process.
- More details will be available on the application process in the coming days.
Working capital support for mid-to-large employers
- ONB will make support available for mid-to-large sized employers.
- Upon request, ONB will also provide working capital in excess of $200,000 to help large employers manage the impacts of COVID-19 on their operations.
- Large employers will be able to apply for this assistance directly from ONB.
- The province has declared that no commercial landlord shall give any tenant any sort of notice to quit, re-enter or re-possess demised premises or exercise any right of distress until May 31, 2020 for non-payment of rent that came due after March 19, 2020.
Support for individuals
- The provincial government will provide a one-time income benefit to either workers or self-employed people in New Brunswick who have lost their job due to the state of emergency.
- The aim of this one-time $900 benefit is to help people during the period between losing their employment benefit or closing their business, to when they receive their federal benefit. This will be administered through the Red Cross.
- Furthers details can be found on the Red Cross website or by contacting a Canadian Red Cross agent at 1-800-863-6582 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, 7 days a week.
New Brunswick Drug Plan
- Effective immediately, and for the duration of the emergency, patients with drug coverage under New Brunswick’s public drug plans will only be responsible for the initial co-payment on a prescription fill or refill.
- For example, a patient with a 90-day prescription will only have a co-payment for the first 30-day fill. There will be no co-payment required for the second and third 30-day fills on the same 90-day prescription.
- This applies to all individuals that are on the public drug plan, including many seniors and low-income individuals.
- The following sections of the Residential Tenancies Act are suspended until May 31, 2020:
- The right of landlords under section 19 to require tenants to vacate for non-payment of rent, and;
The authority of residential tenancies officers under section 22 to evict tenants for the same reason.
- The federal government announced a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada student loans.
- New Brunswick is providing the same relief for provincial student loans.
The province has implemented several changes to protect the health of residents including:
- Declaring a state of emergency and announcing:
- All food and beverage businesses will be reduced to take-out and delivery service only.
- All lounges and special facilities licensed under the Liquor Control Act will stop admitting patrons.
- Every person directed by a physician to self-isolate will obey.
- Every person who has been outside Canada will self-isolate within their home for 14 days after their return to Canada and, if they experience symptoms of COVID-19 during that period, will remain self-isolated until they are free of symptoms. This requirement does not apply to people exempted by the chief medical officer of health.
- Owners and operators of all other premises at which people may gather in large numbers will take all reasonable steps to prevent gatherings of more than 10 people.
- All regulated health services providers will cease operations unless the services to be provided are to address essential health care or an emergency health-care situation.
- All unregulated health services providers, except for those that are providing direct support to regulated health services providers, shall cease operations immediately.
- Owners and managers of all workplaces and organizers of all activities will take every reasonable step to ensure minimal interaction of people within two meters of each other and carry out advice to minimize risk as issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
- All licenses, registrations, certificates and permits issued by the province of New Brunswick valid as of March 16, 2020, shall remain valid until May 31, 2020 unless suspended by a court or by other authority under an Act of the Province.
- Issuing public health orders to:
- Suspend all planned events at provincial parks until further notice.
- Shut down all non-essential government services until further notice.
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