Property tax relief for small businesses

Restaurants, gyms, hair salons and small businesses in the service sector are the lifeblood of Nova Scotia’s economy but have suffered as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Recognizing that, government is announcing a $7 million rebate program today, March 2, to help the service sector weather the impact of the COVID-19 shutdowns.

The Small Business Real Property Tax Rebate Program provides qualified businesses a one-time rebate of a portion of their paid property taxes. Qualified businesses can choose a rebate of $1,000 or 50 per cent of the commercial real property taxes paid for the final six months of the 2020-21 tax year.

“This is cash in the pockets for restaurants and other small businesses in the service sector,” said Premier Iain Rankin. “The rebate may be based on property taxes but is designed to be used by business owners to support any aspect of their business, including hiring staff or paying down debt, paying utilities or ordering supplies. We understand and appreciate the sacrifices that restaurants and other businesses in the service sector have made to protect all Nova Scotians.”

Nearly 3,300 businesses are eligible, including dine-in restaurants and drinking establishments; gym and fitness establishments; hair salons and barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments.

“I want to thank those businesses that have been following public health directives,” said Labi Kousoulis, Minister of Inclusive Economic Growth. “We know that your businesses have been impacted by these latest necessary public health directives, as we work together to flatten the curve and slow the spread of this virus. This program will provide eligible businesses with financial support.”

More details – including how to apply online– will be available mid-March at .


This is much-needed help and the rebate will make a difference. We all understand that we are in this together. But this is a recognition by the province that every time new restrictions are put in place our businesses suffer. Jennie Dobbs, owner of Morris East Restaurant and Wine Bar

The Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia is pleased to see the provincial government’s support for the restaurant industry during the pandemic. The property tax rebate will assist operators, who are in survival mode, and represents a step forward in the recovery process. It is a positive move for the future of the sector. Gordon Stewart, executive director, Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia (RANS)

Quick Facts:

  • funding for the grant will come from the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Response Council administered by Dalhousie University
  • businesses include recipients of previous Small Business Impact Grants (part 1 or 2); businesses that have experienced a year-over-year decline in revenues of at least 30 per cent for the period April 30, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021; or those businesses started on or after Jan. 1, 2020
  • provincial COVID-19 small business supports have included grants, commercial rent deferral guarantee program, business continuity vouchers, access to low-interest rate loans and credit, deferring fees, loan, and interest payment