One week into Level 2 and the day the pubs are open again – Cheers! For many people I know, the past week has been a combination of wondering if we should be spinning like a whirling dervish or doing a quiet little twirl, hoping we don’t fall over as we continue to ponder how we need to pivot our businesses or change our lifestyle.
It certainly is a time for cautious celebration, as the cogs of business are moving again while we are still being mindful and careful to be safe in all our interactions. As we know, Parnell has distinguished itself by having so many unique, owner run SME’s – in retail, hospitality and the commercial sector, many of whom are faced with the real prospect of pivoting and changing course in response to the new normal.
For some it is reconsidering their business model and cutting costs, for others it is finding new vendors or looking for new customers, developing online or e-commerce capabilities, changing competitive positioning and pricing to improve traction, using different technology or sourcing new products. For many of our businesses exposed to the tourist market, it literally means completely reconfiguring their offering and demographic, or in the worst case, figuring out what to do until the borders re-open.
Dancers and engineers would both know you cannot pivot without a balanced centre point, a key feature to focus on, a unique selling point. Entrepreneurs are so often characterised by incredible resilience, but do look after your mental health in these stressful times. Know when it’s time to persevere and when it’s time to quit, you have to know the difference between an obstacle and an impossibility and we would admire you no less.
Let’s all continue to support local so sometime in the not too distant future we can really celebrate the Parnell professionals who successfully ‘pivoted.’
#loveparnell – HANDS UP FOR PARNELL CAMPAIGN
We have had a great response to our Hands up for Parnell campaign and are especially delighted with the substantial media coverage on key billboards in and around our area via key media partners.
The campaign will continue to roll out with a focus on targeted messaging to Parnell residents and local businesses and many local retailers and hospitality outlets have taken advantage of the opportunity to be part of this initiative.
Most business already operating in Level 2, already have some form of contact tracing, as all businesses, except retail, must record details of all people’s movement on their premises. They should also keep people 1 metre apart at all times, where practicable. Retail stores should still keep records of their employees and any visitors, such as maintenance workers or suppliers. They need to keep customers 2 metres apart at all times, where practicable.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES
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:
- A targeted extension of the wage subsidy scheme. The extension is available for a further eight-week period (i.e. further to the 12-week period of the existing scheme) 10 June 2020 until 1 September 2020 for those who have suffered a 50% reduction in turnover in the 30 days prior to application as compared to 2019. You must have had, or expect to have, a revenue loss of at least 50% for the 30 days before you apply, compared to the closest period last year. You’ll need to agree to certain obligations
- Loan scheme for R & D programmes. A $150 million short-term temporary loan scheme will be launched to incentivise businesses to continue R & D programmes that may be at risk due to COVID-19. The loans will provide one-off finance and will be administered by Callaghan Innovation.
- Further business support by way of a $216 million boost to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to assist exporting firms, and $10 million earmarked for small businesses to improve their e-commerce capability. Read the full article by Chris Lynch from Lynch & Associates.
Tourism sector package. As part of the budget Government also announced a wider $400 million package for the tourism sector. Tourism New Zealand has an important role to play in supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery by taking action to support the restart of the tourism sector and a business advisory service has been established. The service will support New Zealand tourism businesses through these tough times and provide a range of advice as communities get back up and running.
Small Business Cashflow Scheme – 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 may require substantial legal documentation to support the loan or a lawyer to be involved. Parnell based MacDonald Lewis Law is here to help.
Auckland Council Rates Relief – In the current period of uncertainty, they know many Aucklanders are facing financial hardship. Find out about financial assistance that is available to help ratepayers. Auckland Council will consult on next year’s rates and services from late May until mid-June.
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 their Youtube channel.
Google My Business Seminar- The Parnell Business Association are hosting an online seminar with Google NZ SMB Partnerships Development Manager on the 26th May for all customer facing businesses. If you did not receive an invite and are keen to attend, please contact me directly.
UPDATE ON SECURITY
Over the course of Level 4 and then Level 3, the Parnell Business Association provided additional night patrols in Parnell, understanding that many businesses were off site for an extended period. We have now reverted back to the regular random night patrols, and really encourage Parnell business who require night time security checks to sign up with Platform4Group, as every business who uses their service helps contribute to an increased presence in the area.
Kind Regards, Cheryl Adamson, General Manager