Financial Support for Impacted Workers and Businesses
To provide emergency-income benefits to the estimated 25,000 to 35,000 New Brunswickers who have found themselves suddenly unemployed, the provincial government will assist in the following ways:
-Income support for workers
Announced earlier this week, this will be a $4.5 million investment for workers who have recently become unemployed. The benefit will help to bridge the gap between when a person lost their job or closed their business after March 15, to when the national benefit takes effect (Canada Emergency Response Benefit–CERB). The objective will be to provide access to the benefit before the end of March. The benefit will end on April 30.
*Furthers details on how to apply will follow in coming days.
-Job protection for workers
Legislative and regulatory amendments will be introduced to provide job protection for workers who must take a leave of absence due to COVID-19. It will allow an unpaid leave of up to 15 weeks to New Brunswickers who have COVID-19 or are caring for someone with the virus.
To support the province’s economy, keep workers employed, and help businesses continue to operate, a total of $50 million in assistance is being made available, including:
-Elimination of interest on WorkSafeNB assessment premiums
WorkSafeNB is deferring the collection of assessment premiums for three months. The current interest rate is prime plus three per cent. The rate will be reduced to zero per cent to align with the three-month deferral.
-Deferring interest and principal payments on existing Government of New Brunswick loans
On a case-by-case basis, the provincial government will defer loan and interest repayments for existing business loans with government departments for up to six months. Businesses can request deferrals by contacting the department that issued the loan.
-Up to $25 million in working capital for New Brunswick small business owners
Small business owners will be eligible for loans up to $200,000. They will not be required to pay principal on their loan for up to 12 months.
-Up to $25 million in working capital for medium-sized to large employers
The province will provide working capital of more than $200,000 to help medium-sized to large employers manage the effects of COVID-19 on their operations. Businesses can apply directly to Opportunities NB for this support.
Information about the assistance for business is available online and application details will be made available in the coming days.