Weekly Digest – 13 January 2021

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

Additional Measures to Keep COVID-19 Out of NZ

With the high infection rates in other countries and the spread of new variants, the government has imposed additional measures to protect New Zealand from COVID-19. These include:

  • From 11.59pm on 15 January, travellers arriving on all flights from the UK and US must have had a negative test result for COVID-19 in the 72 hours before their departure
  • Pre-departure test requirement to all countries and territories excluding Australia, Antarctica and some Pacific Island nations will be expanded soon
  • Passengers from any destination excluding Australia, Antarctica, and some Pacific Island nations will be required to undergo Day 0/1 testing upon arrival

From 29 January, arriving in NZ without evidence of a negative approved test or medical certificate would incur an infringement offence fee or a fine not exceeding $1,000.

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. Current participants are:

  • Banks: ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Heartland Bank, Kiwibank, TSB, Bank of China and Westpac.
  • Non-banks: Nelson Building Society.

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.

Workplace Trends to Watch Out for in 2021

The significant changes brought about by COVID-19 are expected to have long-lasting impacts on our work life. In a Forbes article, a Retained Search Advisor and Talent Specialist discussed some trends that we can expect to see in 2021 including:

  • Safer work environments– Employers need to have policies and procedures to make sure their workers feel safe.
  • Schedule flexibility– Offering flexibility doesn’t only attract and retain talent, but also boosts morale and productivity.
  • Virtual company culture– Online meetings, networking, and team-building in a virtual setting can promote employee engagement.
  • Mental health and wellness benefits– Added focus on healthcare benefit and mental wellness initiatives can serve as major differentiators in retaining your talent.
  • Increased online presence– Digital presence is important now more than ever and businesses should consider adopting innovative technologies and digital events.
  • Selective candidates– Candidates are being selective in their job moves despite higher unemployment levels. Approach with a strong initial offer as many people are hesitant to make a move amid the pandemic.
  • Additional cybersecurity– With a huge chunk of the workforce accessing systems from home, cyberthieves will exploit weak points to steal pertinent data. Invest in a strong IT function and ensure your workers have proper resources and support from your IT.
  • Local operations– As the pandemic disrupts global supply chains, there will be greater emphasis on local production and a shift in operations to a domestic level.
  • More innovation– Innovation will be at the forefront this year, as COVID-19 forced many businesses to pivot and innovate to stay afloat.

In order to be better suited to face obstacles that may lie ahead, it is important to adapt and make changes to the workplace. If you need expert tips, get in touch with us so we can work out a plan for your specific situation.

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