Weekly Digest – 21 July 2021

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

NZ Freezes Travel Bubble with South Australia, Extends Pause on Travel Bubble with Victoria

Quarantine-free travel from South Australia to New Zealand has been paused, but those who are currently in the state who ordinarily live in New Zealand will be able to return on “managed return” flights starting with the next available flight.

A negative pre-departure test taken within 72 hours of flying will be required for eligible passengers, and they must also complete a health declaration confirming they haven’t been at a location of interest. A stay in MIQ will not be required.

This comes after South Australia announced that it would go into a week-long lockdown.

Meanwhile, NZ’s Ministry of Health extended its pause on quarantine-free travel for Victoria starting on Monday. The freeze will be reviewed again this week, as well as the arrangement with New South Wales which was on pause since 22 June.

Largest Shipment of Pfizer Vaccines Arrived in New Zealand

The largest single shipment of more than 370,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived on Sunday, two days earlier than planned. This will allow the vaccination programme to pick up its pace after slowing over the past month.

Government to Provide Relief Fund for Flood-Affected Regions

The government would offer $300,000 in the form of a mayoral relief fund for flood-stricken Westport, and $100,000 for the Blenheim-Marlborough region.

There will also be $200,000 allocated for flood-affected farmers and growers across the West Coast and Marlborough regions. This extra funding will help farmers recover and includes well-being support, technical advice, and other forms of flood assistance.

NZ Inflation Rises by Most in a Decade

New Zealand’s consumer price index rose a higher than expected 1.3% in the quarter ending June, taking annual inflation to 3.3%– the highest since June 2011 and past the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s target inflation band of 1% to 3%. The increase was driven by higher prices for new housing, food, and petrol.

According to economists, the Official Cash Rate must be lifted in August, as the economy is at risk of becoming overheated. If this happens, a rate hike in August would make the Reserve Bank of New Zealand among the first central banks in the developed world to start normalising monetary policy.

Training Incentive Allowance to Support 16,000 Kiwis

The government is bringing back the Training Incentive Allowance to support 16,000 New Zealanders to retrain and gain higher skills. An investment of $127 million will be given over four years from the COVID-19 Recovery and Response Fund to reinstate this program.

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.

How to Solve Growing Business Pains

Experiencing business growth can be both exciting and challenging. As your business moves to the next level, some things may take you by surprise. This Forbes article discusses some of the most common growing pains and some tips on how to deal with them.

  • Constantly fixing mini-crises. When everyone turns to you every time a mini-crisis arises and you constantly put out fires, you lose focus on your long-term goals. What you can do is to hire some senior members to help with some of these issues, as well as set long-term goals and forecasts for your business.
  • Not enough time to meet business demands. When you hit a growth curve, demand also increases and it can sometimes feel like you don’t have enough time to accomplish everything. Review your org chart and make sure your employees are accomplishing tasks that are aligned to your short and long-term goals. If you’re not ready to take in more in-house staff, hire freelancers for short-term requirements.
  • No established processes and procedures. Focus on your long-term goals and implement procedures before you need them. You should also listen to your employees’ feedback about your existing technology and processes because they’re the ones who use them every day.
  • Ineffective communication. While you don’t necessarily have to say goodbye to informal catch-ups even as your business grows, you should scale communications and have formal processes for increased transparency and efficiency.
  • Knowing when to scale. Not everyone is meant to run large-scale operations, so be realistic about your capabilities. Have a reliable board of directors or mentors to serve as your trusted advisors.

Is your business growing too fast? We’re not only good at crunching numbers, we can also guide you through this new stage in your business. If you need tailored advice, get in touch with us today!

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