Weekly Digest – 17 March 2021

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

Auckland Rejoins the Rest of NZ at Alert Level 1

All remaining restrictions in Auckland have been lifted after no locally transmitted cases of COVID-19 were reported for two weeks.

The city now joins the rest of the country in Alert Level 1, which means there are no restrictions on gatherings or activity.

More Than 11,000 Foreigners Granted NZ Entry

The number of foreigners allowed in since borders closed in March 2020 has risen to over 11,000 people.

The film industry and oil and gas sector were the most successful in getting people into the country, with 91% of all applications for exemptions being approved. This results in 469 film and television and 152 oil and gas industry workers allowed in. Meanwhile, 4501 health workers were approved for entry.

Employers: Minimum Wage Increases on April 1st

A quick heads up for employers: the minimum wage is increasing to $20/hour on 1 April.

To get ready for the change, we suggest you:

  • Advise your team
  • Check your payroll systems
  • Update your budgets and forecasts
  • Check your wage obligations.

The details of the increase are:

  • Adult minimum wage will go up, from $18.90 to $20.00 per hour.
  • Starting-out and training minimum wage will go up from $15.12 to $16.00 per hour.
  • All rates are before tax and any lawful deductions for example PAYE tax, student loan repayment, child support.

You can find more information here but please contact us if you have any questions.

Beware of COVID-Related Scams

CERT NZ (Computer Emergency Response Team) is once again seeing an increase in COVID-related scams as the vaccine rollout ramps up.

The scams involve getting a phone call advising the vaccine is available for $49.99 and requesting people to enter credit card details. Another scam asks people to go to a website where they can ‘vote’ to be eligible for a jab.

In the previous week, there were also reports of an email scam claiming to offer money for taking a survey on the Pfizer vaccine.

Keep in mind that the vaccine is free for all Kiwis. So if you receive requests for payment or financial information, you may report it here or call 0800 2378 69.

Applications for Wage Subsidy to Close on 21 March

Applications for the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy will close on Sunday 21 March 2021.

This scheme allows employers to continue paying staff and protect jobs that may have been affected with the recent alert level changes.

You can apply to cover the wages of your employees over a 2-week period, and claim $585.80 per week for each full time employee or $350 per part-time employee.

The eligibility criteria can be found here, while the steps on how to apply are laid out here.

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.

6 Financial Documents Any Small Business Needs

Drawing up the right financial documents matters to your small business’ success more than you think they do. They can give you a clear view of your financial health and can help you make sound decisions.

Below are the six most useful financial documents that you can benefit from:

  1. Income statement- This shows your revenue and expenses and indicates if your business is profitable.
  2. Cash flow statement- This documents how cash is coming in and going out of your business. Most importantly, this shows which parts of your business are generating the most cash and which ones are spending the most cash. It can be really helpful when creating upcoming budgets.
  3. Balance sheet- This shows if your assets balance with your liabilities. If you have more liabilities than assets, you’re losing money and must reevaluate.
  4. Accounts receivable aging report- This is a list of overdue customer invoices. It covers how late the payment is and how to contact the client for collection.
  5. Budget report- This compares the actual results of your business with a pre-established budget. It is used to determine how much funds each area of the business is given and how well they use the funds to achieve the goals of your business.
  6. Business plan- This maps out where your business is, where you want it to go, and how you plan to get there.

If you need help generating or understanding these financial documents, simply get in touch with us. Our reliable team can explain these in language that’s easy-to-understand.

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