FREDERICTON – Up to 35,000 New Brunswickers have found themselves suddenly unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday Premier Blaine Higgs announced $50-million in assistance to support the province’s economy.
Here is an outline of the measures:
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 percent. The rate will be reduced to zero percent 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 of up to $200,000. They will not be required to pay the 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.
“We will continue to closely monitor and assess the economic situation,” said Higgs. “If additional actions are required in the future, we will respond accordingly.”
Allan Dearing is a reporter with 91.9 The Bend, a Huddle content partner.