On Friday, May 21, premier Iain Rankin said more funding would be added to the third round of the small business impact grant, which was first announced on May 4. “Today we’ve announced another $17 million,” he said at the daily C19 press conference. “That’s going to provide more help, it’s a total of $29 million we’re investing during this third wave shutdown.”
The new fund adds $5,000 to each successful applicant that’s already received funding, and it’s available for future applicants too—a move that comes after days of feedback from Nova Scotia’s small business community, after the third wave lockdown was extended until at least June 9.
“That’ll help our businesses get through this difficult period of time,” said Rankin. “I know it’s something that small businesses have asked for, looking at how we can be more flexible.”
While the premier said “it’s really important that we listen to the concerns that are brought forward from small businesses,” the fund still only totals a maximum of $10,000 per business for what will now be six weeks of closures.
“I know this third wave shutdown has been difficult for everyone, especially our small businesses,” said Rankin. “And I am very concerned about our small business community, our restaurants, bars, salons—all those different businesses that service Nova Scotians.”
The government has said it’s working on a re-opening plan that will be revealed next week. “We all want to open soon, we’ll do that in a gradual way,” said Rankin. “I don’t think we’re that far away from that, but the next couple weeks are critical.”
Some small businesses have called for non-essential items in big box stores to be roped off, similar to what happened in Ontario in early April. Back on May 3, chief medical officer of health Robert Strang said what happened in Ontario was “very problematic.”
Reporting live from the Gerrard Square Walmart, Star photographer Rick Madonik captured the blocking off of non-essential aisles as a part of Ontario’s further closures announced Wednesday. Appears to be the kitchen accessories aisle.— Toronto Star (@TorontoStar) April 8, 2021
Rankin added today that was both not practical and difficult to enforce, echoing Strang’s May 7 comment that “what isn’t essential to one family may be essential to an individual family based on their circumstances.”
Rankin did, however, say that small businesses that wanted to stock essential goods could re-open, following restrictions on capacity and social distancing.
“There are businesses that sell essential items that are allowed to open now,” he said. “And if a small business has any essential items to sell, they should do so.”
That list of essential categories can be found here. And while we certainly aren’t suggesting any non-essential retailers throw open their doors, if you want to stock a $10,000 gold-threaded face mask—hey, that’s essential.
On that note, here’s some other goods you can add to your stock list that are considered essential:
• Garden gnomes (garden supplies)
• Cat toys (pet supplies)
• Staplers (office supplies)
• Alarm clocks (electronics)
• Toothbrushes (personal hygiene products)
• Hand sanitizer (cleaning products)
• Baby food (baby supplies)