COVID-19 Support for People & Businesses

Resources for Individuals & Families from Indigenous Services Canada

Resources from the Canada Revenue Agency

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was created to provide an immediate and necessary temporary response to support Canadians, providing up to 28 weeks of income support to those who had to stop working due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government of Canada began transitioning Canadians back to the Employment Insurance (EI) program on September 27, 2020, when some workers began to reach their 28-week maximum of the CERB. Click here for more information about the transition from CERB to EI.

Support for people facing unemployment

If you need assistance applying for EI, please contact Tom Lambert, Employment & Training Manager, at 705-753-2050.  Tom is available to assist with applications and will require the following information to assist with your EI application:

  • Social Insurance Number
  • Employers info, address, phone #
  • First Day & Last Day worked
  • Hours worked last week of work
  • Hourly rate
  • Reason for separation

Service Canada Information

Supports for Businesses

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) provides a 75% wage subsidy of up to $847 per week per employee, to eligible employers, retroactive to March 15, 2020. The CEWS prevents further job losses, encourages employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, and help better position Canadian companies and other employers to more easily resume normal operations following the crisis. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) can be accessed below under the Payroll (RP) activity menu when logged in to My Business Account at

Business Loans

On June 19th, Ontario announced that loans of up to $50,000 will be available to businesses that are either ineligible for, or unable to access, existing federal and provincial COVID-19 response initiatives for small businesses. Loans will be available through Aboriginal Financial Institutions (for NFN, the closest institution is the Waubetek Business Development Corporation.

Up to 50% of each loan will be in the form of a non-repayable grant, with no interest due on the loan portion until December 31, 2022. Businesses may use these funds to cover general expenses such as payroll, rent, utilities and taxes. They may also be used towards increasing production capacity, developing new products, moving to online marketing, or to make improvements to accommodate social distancing requirements, such as the installation of plexiglass barriers.  Click here to read the news release.

Companies can also apply to the Northern Ontario Recovery Program (NORP) for assistance with projects that help them adjust to the impacts of COVID-19, such as, but not limited to:

  • Building renovations and new constructions
  • Customer and employee safety installations
  • Equipment purchases, including personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Marketing for new business initiatives
  • Restructuring of business operations

Funding will be in the form of a conditional contribution and will normally not exceed $25,000. NOHFC will cover 100% of eligible project costs. Applicants must demonstrate that the amount requested from NOHFC is incremental and does not duplicate other supports received.

Applications will be open from October 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, with the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) administering the new program. View more details and apply here:…/northern-ontario-recovery-program

Click here to view the program brochure.

Indigenous Services Canada also announced Relief Measures for Indigenous Businesses that provides up to $40,000 to small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses in the form of an interest-free loan up to $30,000 and a non-repayable contribution of up to $10,000. You can access more information and the application for this program on Waubetek’s website or download the application form here. For questions and assistance, you can contact Waubetek by phone at 705-285-4275 or by email to or contact NFN’s Economic Development Officer, Tom Lambert, at 705-753-6985 or for assistance.

More Information:

Resources for Businesses

All businesses, organizations, and services are asked to continue to follow best practice for preventing the spread of COVID-19:
  • Physically distance: To the fullest extent possible, ensure effective measures are in place to maintain physical distancing amongst all persons who enter the premises.
  • Promote hand hygiene: Practice cough and sneeze etiquette, encourage hand washing and make alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with minimum alcohol concentration of 60%) available at all entrances and exits.
  • Wear face coverings: To the fullest extent possible and when physical distancing is challenging or not possible, ensure all persons wear a face covering.
Effective Friday, July 24, 2020, the use of face coverings will be required in certain enclosed public spaces (of businesses, organizations, and services) and transportation in our district. Owners/operators need to:
  • Promote to all persons the use of face coverings to protect others from COVID-19 spread.
  • Post clearly visible signage stating that face coverings are required inside the building.
  • Have a policy in place to prevent all persons3 who do not have an exemption from entering the premises or transportation if not wearing a face covering. Ensure that all staff are fully aware of the policy and how to implement.
  • Certain exemptions for the face covering requirement apply, such as: age (children under the age of two years or under the age of five years either by birth age or mental development and cannot be persuaded); health or ability; religious officiants; staff working within or behind a physical barrier (e.g. plexiglass barrier) provided physical distancing of two metres can be maintained among staff; or staff working in an area of an enclosed public space that is not designated for public access and where physical distancing of two metres can be maintained.
  • The strength of enforcement is up to the local business, organization, or service. A business, organization, or service has the right to deny entry to their premises, however implementation of the policy should be enforced in ‘good faith’ and primarily used as a means to educate people on face covering use in enclosed public spaces.
No proof of exemption is required. For more information and business resources, please visit the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit's website:
WSIB has announced a financial relief package worth up to $1.9 billion to help support you through this difficult time while protecting coverage for people with work related injuries or illness. How the financial relief package works: The financial relief package allows businesses to defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. Businesses who report and pay monthly, quarterly or annually based on their insurable earnings are eligible for this deferral. No interest will accrue on outstanding premium payments and no penalties will be charged during this six-month deferral period. Receiving financial relief: All Ontario businesses covered by our workplace insurance are automatically eligible to receive relief. You do not need to apply for deferment of your premium payments or take any further action to receive relief. You can choose to continue to report and pay on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. You can also report now and defer payment until later. Processes related to the financial relief package are ongoing; please visit for more details.
Read the list of essential workplaces provided by the province of Ontario in response to COVID-19.   If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment, read the frequently asked questions or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. If you are unclear as to whether your business is reflected on (or has been omitted from) the updated list, contact the Government of Ontario’s “Stop the Spread Business Information Line” at 1-888-444-3659. Please note that the updated list may be subject to change, and as such, please refer directly to the official Government list when determining whether your business qualifies as an “essential business”. Learn more about Supports for Businesses through Canada's Economic Response Plan, including emergency wage subsidies, access to credit, and deferalls of income tax and WSIB premiums.


Mike Harney, Economic Development Manager 705-840-8296  |
What can I do to protect myself, my employees and the public?
The best protection remains regular handwashing with soap for 20 seconds or using alcohol based hand sanitizers, not touching your face, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, upper sleeve or elbow, staying home if sick and keeping a social distance of at least 2 metres between yourself and other persons.

COVID-19 Information