Weekly Digest – 19 May 2021

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

COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout On Track

With well over 400,000 vaccinations administered, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the government is on track to deliver over a million doses before the end of June and all eligible New Zealanders will be vaccinated before the end of the year.

This announcement comes after the Auditor-General’s report that raised concerns about whether the government can hit its targets and if there’s enough vaccines in the country. The government will invest $1.4 billion in the vaccination programme to guarantee free vaccines for everyone.

Small Businesses Expect Budget 2021 Benefits

Small-to-medium enterprises are mostly confident that Budget 2021 will be good for their business. In the most recent MYOB SME snapshot where 500 business owners were surveyed, it was revealed that 51% are confident that the Budget will be beneficial.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced in his first major pre-budget speech that aside from keeping Kiwis safe from COVID-19, Budget 2021 will be focused on accelerating economic recovery and addressing the three biggest foundational challenges: housing affordability, climate change, and child wellbeing.

As the government had already spent $926 million less on pandemic relief and response, Robertson said these savings could now be funnelled into the country’s pandemic recovery efforts.

In a separate pre-budget speech this week, the Finance Minister also said that the better-than-expected economic recovery will help the government keep a lid on the country’s debt. Analysts expect a narrower budget deficit than the $21.57 billion forecasted in December 2020.

The budget will be announced on 20 May and we will keep you informed.

Foreign Investors Expected to Arrive On New Border Exemption

Investors from overseas are expected to arrive in New Zealand in the coming months amid new border exemptions that allow investors to visit. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment expects 220 investors to arrive over the next year, bringing hundreds of millions in direct investment and job creation.

Non-Bank Lenders Join Business Finance Guarantee Scheme

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

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 help or have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.

Free Online Digital Training and Support Tool

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise, in partnership with The Mind Lab and Indigo, has launched a free training and support services to help businesses develop their digital capabilities.

More than 9100 small businesses are already taking advantage of these solutions through DigitalBoost.co.nz. This includes providing support on cybersecurity and fraud prevention.

Meanwhile, if you want more focused software integration advice, you may also get in touch with us so we can assist you in getting the right tech in place.

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.

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.

Building and Implementing a Business Resilience Plan

Resilience plans are designed to help businesses cope with unprecedented challenges and market disruptions. In this Forbes article, members of the Forbes Business Council shared critical tips to implement a resilience plan that works regardless of external factors.

  • A resilience plan must start from the company’s mission, vision, and internal culture. Ensure your foundation is strong.
  • Embrace tension instead of avoiding it. Engage in constructive dialogue to find a resolution to a specific challenge.
  • Develop a roadmap for the overall vision of the company. Your resilience plan must involve adaptation, securities, continuity, and recovery.
  • Cultivate a resilience mindset so your team can respond dynamically.
  • Conduct solid market research and analysis to create effective future strategies.
  • Keep your processes organised and adapt them when circumstances change to reduce friction in product or service delivery.
  • Enhance adaptability without losing focus on your goals and mission.
  • Focus on your customers’ pain points and uphold transparency and authenticity to provide exceptional customer experience.
  • Establish what metrics to measure before you start. Test, listen to the data, and quickly adjust accordingly.
  • Treat it like a fire evacuation plan— identify mission-critical operations and key assets and carry out a risk assessment.
  • Take an iterative approach. Develop a plan of action, assess progress, and adapt as needed.
  • Provide employees with access to content and technology they need, whenever and wherever.
  • Focus on employee training and gaining their trust. Leave room for flexibility to empower employees to be creative to best serve the interest of the company and its customers.

Need expert help in developing a business resilience plan? Book a one-on-one consultation with us.

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