COVID-19 Financial Relief – Part 9: The NBRF


AF Accounting helps Canadians understand and apply for the COVID-19 relief programs offered by the Government of Canada and its partner organizations. Parts 1-8 covered the: CERB, CEBA, extended tax deadlines, taxation of the CERB, CECRA, BCAP, LEEFF and CEWS. This post talks about the Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF).

What is the NBRF?

The NBRF is a grant provided to small and medium-sized (SMEs) businesses in Canada’s territories whose operations have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant does not have to be repaid and must be used to support operational costs. Funds available through this program are between $2,500 – $100,000. Funding covers a maximum of four months and applications can be retroactive to April 1, 2020.

Who administers the NBRF?

The NBRF is administered through the Government of Canada’s Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor). CanNor helps to build long-term economic prosperity in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon.

Who is eligible for the NBRF?

While the NBRF supports SMEs in the North, small businesses with less than 20 employees will be prioritized for aid.

To be eligible, the business must:

  • Meet the definition of a SME and have less than 100 employees
  • Be a territorial business primarily operating in and for Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, or the Yukon
  • Be operating since October 1, 2019
  • Be operating at a loss, and expect to continue operating at a loss, due to COVID-19 impacts
  • Did not declare bankruptcy, was not insolvent, and was financially viable as a business before the pandemic

Franchises, subsidiaries of corporations, government and crown corporations, and non-profit organizations are not eligible for this support.

How to apply for the NBRF

Applications are done online, and completing the application also completes the combined grant agreement. Applicants should review the guidelines prior to completing the form, and are also invited to contact their local CanNor Regional Office to ask about the application and other relief programs that may be available. The form is lengthy and detailed – expect to spend quite a bit of time completing it. Unless otherwise indicated, all parts must be filled in.

AF Accounting can help

We understand that in addition to dealing with the fallout COVID-19 has had on businesses across Canada, dealing with overburdened government agencies can feel like another frustration. Calls and emails have long response times at government agencies as thousands of business owners seek help. Your local CPA is an invaluable resource during this time. We can answer questions, help with applications, and help you deal with your end-of-year and tax preparation, which is also a concern during these times.

AF Accounting works remotely with clients across Canada and the territories, and we specialize in helping small businesses. Contact us today for assistance with any of the COVID-19 relief benefits applicable to your business, for help with your accounting, and for assistance with daily bookkeeping.

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