08/03/2021

COVID-19 Business Update – 3 March 2021

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Auckland on Second Lockdown

After a three-day lockdown in mid-February, PM Jacinda Ardern announced a new seven-day lockdown in the city of Auckland last Saturday, in a bid to contain a cluster of the more contagious UK variant of COVID-19.

This comes after a report of a person who had been infectious for a week, but not in isolation. The Level 3 lockdown in Auckland only allows people to go out for essential shopping and work, and public venues will stay closed. Elsewhere in NZ, rules are to be tightened to Alert Level 2, setting limits on public gatherings.

For those that are impacted by the move to Level 2 or Level 3 there are some resources you can look at below.

Wage Subsidy

Information about the new Wage Subsidy for employers and self-employed people in NZ has been released today. You can find details here. You can apply from 1pm on Thursday 4 March 2021, and payments will start from Monday 8 March 2021.

Resurgence Support Payment

The Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) is for businesses or organisations with reduced revenue due to a COVID alert level increase to level 2 or higher. Learn more about eligibility and which businesses can apply for this support here.

The last day to apply is 22 March for the alert level increase on 14 February. Applications will open at 8am on 8 March for the alert level increase of 28 February.

Short-term Absence Payment

This is available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay employees who cannot work from home while they wait at home for a COVID-19 test result. This is a one-off payment of $350. You can find the details here.

Leave Support Scheme

The Leave Support Scheme is available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay their workers who can’t work from home and meet certain health criteria, eg they have COVID-19 or are a ‘close contact’ who has been told to self-isolate for 14 days.

The Leave Support Scheme is paid as a 2-week lump sum per eligible employee.

The Leave Support Scheme is paid at a flat rate of:

  • $585.80 a week for full-time workers who were working 20 hours or more a week
  • $350 a week for part-time workers who were working less than 20 hours a week.

Find out more about the Leave Support Scheme here.

Business Finance Guarantee Scheme Open Until June

Business Finance Guarantee loans can help small and medium businesses access credit for cashflow, capital assets and projects related to, responding to or recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.

All New Zealand registered banks and non-bank deposit takers (non-banks) are eligible to apply to join the scheme.

Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to access credit from either a participating bank or a non-bank, but not both.

If you borrow from a bank, it will determine the amount you can borrow and the length of the term up to a maximum of $5 million payable in five years. Meanwhile, if you borrow from a non-bank, the maximum amount is $3 million payable in five years. More information on eligibility criteria and how it works can be found here.

Applications for Business Finance Guarantee loans are open until 30 June 2021. If you need assistance or have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.

Small Business Cashflow Scheme Extended Until 2023

The Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme has been extended until 31 December 2023.

Organisations and small to medium businesses, including sole traders and the self-employed, may be eligible for a one-off loan with a term of 5 years if they have been adversely affected by COVID-19.

The maximum amount loaned is $10,000 plus $1,800 per full-time-equivalent employee. The annual interest rate will be 3% beginning from the date of the loan being provided. Interest will not be charged if the loan is fully paid back within 2 years.

You can find out more here, or simply get in touch with us so we can provide our professional assistance.

Kiwi Business Boost Tool

The Government has funded specialist consultancy support services to provide advice to businesses who need it. You can use the Kiwi Business Boost Tool to find out what services are available in your region.

The Treasury website’s COVID-19 Economic Response Measures can also provide more information on the range of supports available to businesses.

Digital Payment Options Worth Considering

Digital payment methods are increasingly becoming relevant amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from the safety of contactless transactions, digital payments are undoubtedly more convenient.

Below are some payment methods that you can adopt for your small business:

  • PayPal– One of the most popular platforms for online payment, PayPal supports sending and receiving invoices and recurring transactions. It also offers PayPal Here credit card reader that you can install in your physical store.
  • Payoneer– A digital wallet that supports over 150 currencies, Payoneer is ideal for global transactions because of its low transaction fees and competitive conversion rates.
  • Google Pay– Google Pay is a platform that supports peer-to-peer transactions through mobile and offers an easy checkout process for online shopping. It is available in both iOS and Android, and can also be used via Gmail.
  • Shopify– It covers everything from ecommerce to secure mobile payments and POS systems. Shopify supports Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Apple Pay, Android Pay, and other popular payment methods.
  • Square– Square is an affordable option perfect for small businesses and startups. You can use it to set up an online store free of charge and sell from there. You can also use it as a store window and redirect customers to your own site. Aside from allowing payments through its mobile app, Square also offers credit card readers for in-person payments.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.

Got a question?

Fill in our contact form and one of our team members will get in touch with you shortly.