On Monday, applications opened for the Sector Impact Support Program, nearly one month after Omicron began to surge in the province.
Although this long-awaited program will provide short-term relief to some Nova Scotians, self-employed business owners, such as cosmetology professionals, are calling on the Houston government to be included in the program.
“I’ve sent multiple requests to the premier requesting cosmetology be included with no response,” says Dana Sharkey, Executive Director of the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia. “We’ve been getting multiple calls daily from members who are not surviving financially and are unable to meet basic needs. Clients are canceling appointments even more so now, bringing the fear of closure to many salons. The government must expand the supports to include all small businesses and the self-employed.”
Previous business supports in Nova Scotia were based on loss of income. Now, under the Houston government, businesses are eligible based on payroll — leaving many Nova Scotians on their own to survive.
“It’s a complete oversight of the Houston government to leave such an integral part of our business community out of these supports,” says Economic Development critic Fred Tilley. “Self-employed and small business owners are calling on the government to be included.”