Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)  Urban Main Street Loan Initiative (UMSLI)

CEED is a provider of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) for “main street businesses” called The Urban Main Street Loan Initiative (UMSLI) 

This loan is to be used to finance the everyday operations of a business such as sales and marketing, product development, wages and other activities for businesses such as retail shops, restaurants, corner stores, etc., and businesses of strategic importance to the community.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY   (Note that the field name Startup refers to your COMPANY NAME)

All Inquiries Please email   (NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE)

General Details:

  • Maximum loan of $40,000
  • 0% interest until December 31, 2022;
  • No principal payments until December 31, 2022;
  • Principal repayments can be voluntarily made at any time without penalty;
  • 25% up to a maximum of $10,000 in loan forgiveness is available, provided the outstanding balance is paid back by December 31, 2022;
  • If any part of the balance is not paid by December 31, 2022, the remaining balance will be converted to a term loan effective January 1, 2023; and,
  • The full balance must be repaid no later than December 31, 2025.


An Applicant deemed eligible for a Loan funded by the UMSLI must meet the following criteria:

(a) must be an SME or Social Enterprise

SME is defined as a small and medium-sized enterprise, which is defined as having less than 500 employees and annual sales revenues of less than $20 million, with products goods and services for the market economy, regardless of their business structure (e.g. sole proprietorship, partnerships, for profit or non-profit corporations, cooperatives.)

Social Enterprise is defined as any business producing goods and services for the market economy, but manage their operations and redirect their surpluses in pursuit of social, environmental, and community goals. Typically, Social Enterprises grow out of community economic development strategies involving citizens, government, the voluntary sector, business learning institutions and other partners.

(b) must have been a viable business or enterprise carrying on business and, where appropriate, registered in Nova Scotia on or before March 1, 2020;

(c) must be operating, and where appropriate, duly registered to operate, within the urban territory of the Recipient;

(d) must have been adversely impacted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak;

(e) must have had a payroll below $1.5 million in its 2019 fiscal year;

(f) must demonstrate through attestation that they have attempted to access other federal relief measures under Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, such as the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), the Wage Subsidy benefits, the Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses among others, and were either ineligible or rejected; or accessed COVID-19 relief measures and continue to experience liquidity issues.

(g) must not receive a Loan for the same costs for which it has received or will receive other federal relief measures;

(h) must demonstrate that its business activities have a reasonable expectation of economic viability, as well as job creation and/or maintenance; however, applications should also be judged on the Applicant’s commitment and dedication to the business, as well as earning potential; and

(i) must demonstrate need and attest that the loan proceeds will be used for costs and/or working capital related to COVID-19.

Eligible Costs

(a) costs that will help to stabilize the Applicant to mitigate impacts of COVID-19 and that are not covered by other COVID-19 relief measures; including:

  1. rent (only eligible if the Canada Emergency Commercial Rental Assistance program is not accessed);
  2. rental or leasing of equipment and machinery;
  3. salaries and benefits (only eligible if business is not eligible for, or was rejected under, through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS));
  4. property taxes;
  5. utilities;
  6. cleaning supplies;
  7. additional safety measures;
  8. bank interest/charges and loan repayment (interest);
  9. office supplies;
  10. vehicle operating expenses;
  11. professional fees;
  12. insurances; and,
  13. other fixed overhead costs and one-time stabilization expenditures

(b) costs have become due or have been incurred since March 15, 2020; and

(c) costs not otherwise deemed ineligible.

In calculating the amount of the Loan, only costs for which the Applicant has not received any other relief or assistance shall be considered. For example, if the Applicant has received a 75% subsidy under CEWS, the Loan cannot be used to cover the remaining 25%.

Ineligible Costs
The following costs are deemed ineligible for a Loan funded under the UMSLI:

(a) costs related to refinancing of an existing debt;
(b) costs related to land acquisition;
(c) goodwill; and
(d) costs related to the purchase of any assets for more than the fair market value of the said asset.

Supports for Small Business – Update April 21, 2020

Nova Scotia – Small Business Impact Grant
Open today! The Small Business Impact Grant will provide eligible small businesses and non-profits who have had to close or reduce operations because of the public health order a one-time, flexible (can be used for any purpose) grant. This grant is equal to 15% of the business’ revenue from sales, either from April 2019 or February 2020, up to a maximum of $5,000. To qualify, your business must have been established on or before March 15, 2020 and have an anticipated revenue loss for April 2020 of 30% or more. The deadline to apply is Saturday, April 25.

Nova Scotia – Worker Emergency Bridge Fund
The Worker Emergency Bridge Fund provides a one-time payment of $1,000 for Nova Scotians who are laid off or out of work (includes self-employed) as of March 16, 2020 because of COVID-19, who don’t qualify for Employment Insurance, and earn between $5,000 and $34,000. The fund can be combined with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Apply by calling 1-800-863-6582. The phone line is open 7 days a week (including holidays) between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Federal – Canada Emergency Response Benefit
The CERB is now available if you earned $1,000 (before taxes) or less during an eligibility period. If this applies to your situation, you may be eligible to apply for a previous period, starting March 15, 2020.

Federal – Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
Available now – The CEBA will provide an interest-free loan of $40,000 for qualifying businesses. Up to $10,000 may be eligible for loan forgiveness if $30,000 is fully repaid by December 31, 2022. To qualify, businesses will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019.

Federal – Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
This week, the federal government proposed further details on the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. The CEWS provides a 75% wage subsidy to eligible businesses for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020.

CEED Closures & Announcements

Wednesday February 12, 2020.

Due to weather, CEED will delay opening until 9:30am this morning.  Plan To SucCEED/Self Employment Programming will delay delivery until 10:00am this morning, instead of 9:00am.  When travelling, please evaluate your own personal situation and make a decision that is appropriate for you.

CEED Closures & Announcements


Occasionally, harsh weather conditions may affect our office hours and/or workshop schedule.

Information on morning or afternoon closures, altered timing or cancellations of workshops will be posted on our website and social media platforms by 7 am and 11 am respectively.

We encourage you to assess the road conditions related to your travel and individually determine if you will attend.

CEED Programs are delivered in partnership with ACOA and the Province of Nova Scotia