The swift impact of the global COVID-19 virus and the subsequent yo-yo between lockdowns is being felt by all types of businesses in different ways. How you can stay the most resilient, what your obligations are towards staff, what financial assistance is available, how to manage imports and exports are all key questions. We will add to this page as new information becomes available, but below are several handy links you may want to use.
This website has everything you need to know about COVID-19 in one place. Learn the simple steps you can take to unite against the virus and slow its spread. Find out what help is available and get the latest updates.
Call your GP before you visit. Or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
After a short 3 day stint at Alert Level 3, Auckland moved down to Alert Level 2 at midnight February 17.
Alert Level 2 in Auckland will still be difficult for many businesses to manage with cashflow, staffing and one-off costs so the COVID-19 Resurgence Payment will give you quicker access to assistance.
Those eligible who have experienced a 30 per cent revenue drop over a seven-day period – rather than 14 days – can apply for a core per business rate of $1500, plus $400 per employee up to a total of 50 FTEs.
There is also other assistance available to you, detailed below.
Resurgence Wage Subsidy
The COVID-19 Resurgence Wage Subsidy will cover 2 weeks of support. It will be available nationally for employers, including self-employed people, who have had, or expect to have, a revenue drop of at least 40% because of COVID-19, for a 14-day period between 12 August to 10 September, compared to a similar period last year can get the Subsidy. The decline must be related to COVID-19. Applications can be made from 1pm on 21 August 2020 to 3 September 2020
Note: If you are already receiving payments from the Wage Subsidy, Wage Subsidy Extension or Leave Support Scheme, which covers a broader period, you cannot apply for the Resurgence Wage Subsidy. You can only receive one Wage Subsidy for each employee. You can read more information here.
Wage Subsidy Extension payment
A further Wage Subsidy Extension payment is available to support employers, including sole traders, who are still significantly impacted by COVID-19 after the Wage Subsidy ends. Applications are open from 10 June 2020 and close just before midnight on September 1 2020 Employers can apply for the Wage Subsidy Extension once you have finished paying your employees the original 12 week Wage Subsidy. To be eligible, your business must have had a revenue loss of at least 40% for a continuous 30 day period. You can apply for the Wage Subsidy Extension for your employee, even if you haven’t applied for the Wage Subsidy for them before and if you have applied for the Wage Subsidy or Leave Support Scheme for your employee, you need to wait until those payments are finished before you can apply for the Wage Subsidy Extension.
Leave Support Scheme
There are also changes to the Leave Support Scheme, which means businesses with workers who have been told by health officials or their medical practitioner to self-isolate will receive the equivalent of the wage subsidy to help cover that person’s wages for the time they cannot be at work. Your business does not need to meet a revenue threshold test if you apply after 21 August.
The budget last Thursday brought a sigh of relief to some businesses and frustration to others. New support measures for businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis include:
Read the full article by Chris Lynch from Lynch & Associates
More than 6,000 businesses have applied for a loan under the government’s small business cash flow loan scheme (SBCS), which is open until the 12 June. The scheme has been introduced to support businesses and organisations struggling because of loss of actual or predicted revenue as a result of COVID-19. They must have 50 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees. Eligible businesses and organisations are entitled to a one-off loan. The maximum amount loaned is $10,000 plus $1,800 per full-time-equivalent employee.
Assistance with loan applications? – Small businesses applying for Covid 19 related assistance may not realise that the banks could require substantial legal documentation to support the loan or a lawyer to be involved. Parnell based MacDonald Lewis Law is there to help.
There are some amazing resources out there with several leading businesses. In addition to the govt site covid19.govt.nz as above, as well as some of the resources at the bottom of the page, here are some others being developed by innovative kiwi business people.
Parnell based The Icehouse, has continued to do an amazing series of webinars to help clarify and make sense of some of the most pressing topics that are affecting businesses and business owners. Free and exclusive, and curated by The Icehouse delivery team, you can binge-watch and play catch up by following the webinars right here on their dedicated webinar website page or via our Youtube channel.
Manaaki. Andy Hamilton, who recently departed his long -time role as head of Parnell based The Icehouse Group, has set up Manaaki – an “emergency business forum for Kiwi SMEs to get help from advisers and experts”. “Manaaki means to support, take care of, give hospitality to, protect, look out for. In all, more than 80 prominent NZ business people from a wide range of industries including retail, finance and insurance, and branding and marketing, have stood up to offer their expertise.
Enable me, a Parnell based business is offering a free webinar series: Financial Resilience Amid COVID-19. Join their free webinar series on how to survive, stabilise & optimise your finances amid Covid-19.
Another well known Parnell business Lynch and Associates has a range of helpful articles on anything from wage subsidies to your tax. Economic Development New Zealand are also offering free seminars on anything from looking after your team and the role of Councils in the recovery and the EMA, ATEED and the Regional Business Partner Network have partnered to bring you free content to help you combat the ongoing issues businesses are facing in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. They are running three 20-minute sessions a week on the topics that businesses are asking about.
The Auckland Business Chamber are hosting a Facebook event on the 8th April to provide engaging analysis on the global economic landscape, and Michael Barnett will present the latest business confidence survey results. Tourism Industry Aotearoa has advice for operators and accommodation providers and the Restaurant Association has specific advice for the hospitality sector.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson outlined a $12.1 billion package to support New Zealanders and their jobs from the global impact of COVID-19.
The $12.1 billion package includes:
This cash injection is on top of the $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme that was announced in January.
The wage subsidies will be available for businesses in all sectors and all regions that can show a 30 per cent decline in revenue for any month between January and June 2020 compared to the year before (including projected revenue). If eligible, employers would be paid $585.80 per week for full time staff, and $350 for part time. Payments are capped at $150,000 per business. They will be paid in a lump sum. The support will be available for twelve weeks with applications open today. Businesses must have taken active steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 (eg. engaged with their bank) and signed a declaration form to that effect. Estimated total cost: $5.1 billion
COVID-19 leave and self-isolation support
The COVID-19 leave payment scheme will provide support (through employers/to sole traders and the self employed) for those people unable to work because they are in self-isolation, are sick with COVID-19 or caring for dependents who are in either of these situations. The payments will be equal to the rate of the wage subsidy scheme but available for a maximum of eight weeks. Employers will be expected to meet all of their sick leave and other employment expectations. Estimated total cost: $126 million
Income support package
This package includes:
· A $25 per week increase for all main benefits from April 1 2020. MSD estimates that this will increase the incomes of approximately 350,000 low income families. This will also help as more people who have previously been in work are likely to need income support in the coming months, and act as a stimulus.
· The Winter Energy Payment for 2020 will be doubled to $1400 for couples and $900 for single people. It is estimated that around 850,000 recipients will benefit from this change. Once we include the partners of recipients, more than one million people are expected to benefit.
· Removing the hours test from the In Work Tax Credit to assist those who may face variable hours.
Estimated total cost: $2.8 billion
$100 million has been allocated to support worker redeployment. The Tairāwhiti region will be the first to receive assistance, with the package to be agreed by COVID-19 Cabinet Committee on Wednesday.
Fewer small businesses having to pay provisional tax
From April 1 2020 the threshold for provisional tax will lift from $2,500 to $5,000. This measure will reduce cashflow pressure and compliance costs for small taxpayers by allowing roughly 95,000 businesses to defer their tax payments. Estimated total cost: $4 million.
Reinstatement of depreciation deductions for commercial and industrial buildings
A reintroduction of depreciation deductions for commercial and industrial buildings will encourage business investment in the recovery phase and support productivity. It will support business confidence, continuity and recovery. Estimated total cost: $2.1 billion
Waiving interest on some late tax payments
Interest is usually payable by taxpayers when they pay their tax late. The Commissioner of Inland Revenue will be given a time-limited discretion to remit interest if a taxpayer’s ability to make a tax payment on time has been significantly adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. This measure will provide targeted relief to directly affected taxpayers facing cashflow pressures and apply for all tax payments due on or after 14 February 2020.
Immediate deductions for low value assets
Immediate expensing allows businesses to fully deduct the cost of low-cost assets when they are purchased, with the threshold for the write-off currently at $500. We are putting in place a temporary increase in the threshold to $5,000 for one year, reverting to $1,000 in the longer term (still higher than the current $500 threshold), which will reduce compliance costs for businesses. It will also have the side-benefit of stimulating business purchases. Estimated total cost: $667 million.
Support for large or complex businesses
Some businesses may fall outside the scope of the proposed business and employee support package (including working capital support), such as large or complex businesses. Officials have been asked to develop options so the Government can support larger businesses that have been materially impacted by COVID-19, where other avenues for support are not available, and the businesses are commercially viable over the longer-term. Any support would seek to mitigate the economic impact as adjustment occurs.
Working capital support for small and medium sized businesses
Officials are meeting with banks to discuss the potential for future working capital support, including in the form of loan guarantees for businesses that face temporary credit constraints.
The COVID-19 Cabinet Committee will discuss a package of measures to support the aviation sector and the protection of supply chains. This does not include any Government support for Air New Zealand. The estimated cost of this package is $600 million.
This page brings together government information relating to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), how it may affect your business and how you can stay up to date as new information becomes available.
Continuity and contingency planning is about being prepared for all types of disruptions, eg an earthquake, broken equipment or losing a supplier — and quickly getting back on your feet.
Use this step-by-step guide to get your plan sorted. It’s vital to your business’s survival.