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In our effort to help our partners and clients in this stressful time of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, we bring you relevant news and updates regarding government policies that have been introduced to help businesses deal with the challenges resulting from the global health crisis.

Amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic, the only thing certain and in our control is to stay connected, positive and help each other to our best of abilities. Thus, here is a list of curated and reliable information from trusted sources.

Latest updates

On Business & Financial Policies

Extended: Territory-wide Public Health Emergency till February 2, 2021

As advised by the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) Dr. Kami Kandola, and, as per the Northwest Territories’ Public Health Act, Julie Green, Minister of Health and Social Services, has extended the territory-wide Public Health Emergency till February 2, 2021.

Considering the fact that there has been a surge in the number of Covid-19 positive cases across Canada in the recent week, the Public Health Emergency is committed to act and respond decisively and maintain preventative measures.

Detailed Information:

Up to $7500 Funding for NWT Business for Revenue Reporting

NWT Business Advisory Council has identified the need for government to support small businesses assemble their costs and revenue reporting. 

Northwest Territories (NWT) businesses can now apply to the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI)’s Support for Entrepreneurs to get financial assistance to cover the cost of required bookkeeping or to prepare financial statements, to meet the requirements of a funder or investor.

The total amount of funding available for this initiative is $400,000. Up to $7,500 is available to individual businesses that need completed bookkeeping and/or financial statements to advance economic recovery or to apply for government funding. Applications will be considered retroactive to April 1, 2020.


  • A minimum equity requirement of 10% will be required.
  • This program will remain in effect until March 31, 2021 or when the allocated funding of $400,000 is spent.
  • Businesses that have already received federal assistance for professional bookkeeping services are not eligible.

Benefits Offered by the Canada Revenue Agency

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recognizes the effort of the employers and employees and has offered numerous benefits to help both parties. The CRA has adopted the following positions for employer-provided benefits pertaining to commuting and home office costs. These positions are effective from March 15, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

Commuting Costs (including parking)

The CRA acknowledges that employees who are required to commute to their regular places of employment to perform employment duties may incur additional commuting costs to minimize their risk of exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employers are expected to maintain appropriate records to demonstrate that any allowances provided are reasonable in relation to the commuting costs incurred by the employee. Employees are expected to maintain appropriate records to account for their use of the employer-provided motor vehicles, including the total kilometers driven when commuting between home and their regular place of employment.

Home Office Equipment

The CRA recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many employees having to work from home, where they may not have the necessary computer or home office equipment (desk, office chair, etc.) to perform their employment duties. The CRA’s existing policies recognize that an employer may pay for or reimburse the cost of an employee’s cell phone service plan, or Internet service at home to help carry out their employment duties.

Meal Costs

Where an employer pays for, reimburses, or provides a reasonable allowance for meals to employees working at their regular place of employment during regular hours of work, the amount must be included in their employment income as a taxable benefit.

Detailed Information:


On Business & Financial Policies

2 Programs To Support Harvesters

Two new programs to support harvesters and families going out on the land in 2020-2021 are now taking applications.

1) Take a Family on the Land Program: As per this program, families engaged in outdoor learning experiences to spread the Northern values and perspectives will be provided up to $10,000 as funding.

Applications for this program are being accepted from NWT Indigenous governments and organizations, community governments and not-for-profit associations.

2) The COVID Regional Training, Mentorship and Support Program: As per this program, funding will be provided to support community-led opportunities for harvesting mentorship, on-the-land training and skills development, and supply of country foods into communities.

Regional Indigenous governments can apply for two streams of funding:

  • COVID Harvest Subsidy: up to $10,000
  • Community Training and Knowledge Exchange Program: up to $25,000

Applications for the above two programs will be received till November 20, 2020, till 5 pm. The funding provided for these programs must be spent by March 31, 2021, and activities should be done between October 2020 and March 2021. 

Alongwith the above two programs, there is another program announced for 2020-2021, The Pilot Trapper Mentorship Program, applications for which will be opened in November.

All application guidelines and forms are available online at

Northwestel to offer unlimited Internet for $10 more – Awaits Approval

A tariff application for new business and residential Internet packages with an unlimited data option has been submitted by Norwestel to CRTC for approval. If approved, it will be available to order after November 2, 2020, via online or through the customer service channels. If the application gets approved, Internet plans with unlimited data will be available in Carcross YT, Fort Nelson BC, Fort Smith NWT, Hay River NWT, Norman Wells NWT, Whitehorse YT, and Yellowknife NWT.

Northwestel plans on offering unlimited data on three residential Internet plans: Internet 250, Internet 125, and Internet 50. These internet plans will allow customers to use unlimited internet for only $10 more per month.

Extension of Public Health Emergency through October 27, 2020

As advised by the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO), Dr. Kami Kandola and under the Northwest Territories’ Public Health Act, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Julie Green has extended the territory-wide Public Health Emergency through October 27, 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated significantly across Canada in the last few weeks as COVID cases in the country surged to its highest point.

The Public Health Emergency will continue to decisively respond to such public health situations and maintain preventative measures to contain the spread.

Detailed Information: