COVID-19 Support for People & Businesses

The resources on this page have been compiled to assist individuals, families and businesses learn more about the supports available to them.

Support for Individuals & Families

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. The Government of Canada has also introduced three new benefits, delivered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA):
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) - provides $500 per week for up to two weeks, for workers who are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions that would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)- provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household, for eligible people unable to work because they must care for a child under 12 years old or other family member requiring supervised care, who is unable to attend their school or regular care facility due to COVID-19.
  • Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) - provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks, to workers who are self-employed or are not eligible for EI and who still require income support.  This benefit supports people who have stopped working due to COVID-19 or whose income has dropped by at least 50% or more.  These workers must be available and looking for work, and must accept work when it is reasonable to do so.
Click here to view a helpful table showing what to expect from the New Canada Recovery Benefits. ** NEW ** Deduction for home office expenses if you were required to work from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic more than 50% of the time for a period of at least four consecutive weeks in 2020.  You can claim $2 for each day that you worked at home during that period, plus any other days you worked at home in 2020 due to COVID-19, up to a maximum of $400 for the year.  
If you need assistance applying for Employment Insurance (EI), please contact Tom Lambert, Employment & Training Manager, at 705-753-6995. Tom has received security clearance from Employment and Skills Development Canada and can access EI information to assist members with their claims so that they don't need to try to reach the EI call centre (1-800-206-7218). For more information or to apply online, visit:

Notice on calling the Employment Insurance Call Centre

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are experiencing higher than normal call volume. We encourage you to use self-serve options to access our programs and services online, and to avoid calling Service Canada if your request is not urgent. Read our Employment and Social Development Canada notice and the latest information on COVID-19. We ask Canadians for their patience at this time so that we can focus our efforts on the most vulnerable Canadian population.
For general information about the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, contact our automated telephone service at 1-833-966-2099. For information about Employment Insurance, for additional questions about the Canada Emergency Response Benefit through Service Canada or if you have questions about transitioning to Employment Insurance, please contact the EI call centre at 1-800-206-7218.

One-Time Payment for Older Seniors and OAS Increases: The Federal Government is increasing the OAS pension for seniors aged 75 and over as part of Budget 2021. The increase will be implemented in two stages:
  • A taxable one-time payment of $500.00 in August 2021 to seniors who are 75 and over as of June 30, 2022; and
  • A permanent 10% increase to the monthly OAS pension for seniors aged 75 and over, beginning in July 2022.
The purpose of the one-time payment is to meet the immediate needs of OAS pensioners aged 75 and over until the permanent increase to their pension is implemented in July 2022. No action is required by seniors, who will automatically receive the payment if they are eligible. You will find additional information that may be helpful at: Contact the Service Canada Outreach Support Centre at 1-877-355-2657 Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4pm.

Support for Businesses

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.
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
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:
Click here to view the program brochure.
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.
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:
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