Weekly Digest – 23 February 2022

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

Support for Businesses Struggling in Red Light Setting

The government has announced a maximum of $24,000 in financial support for businesses struggling with a business downturn during the red light setting and the Omicron outbreak. Each payment is $4000 per business plus $400 per full-time employee up to a maximum of 50 full-time employees.

NZ Central Bank Hikes Rates

The central bank delivered a third straight interest rate hike, taking borrowing costs back to pre-pandemic levels and signalled a more aggressive tightening path to counter rising inflation.

NZ-Cook Islands Travel Bubble to Stay Open

The Cook Islands Government agreed quarantine-free travel would remain even with the arrival of Omicron in New Zealand 10 days after the travel bubble reopened.

How to Travel to NZ with the New Self-Isolation Rules

New Zealand is set to open its borders to fully vaccinated travellers from all over the world in five stages in 2022. Unvaccinated Kiwis can also travel to the country but will have to enter managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) upon arrival. This article provides a step-by-step guide to planning a trip if you’re eligible.

Government Extends Events Transition Support Scheme

The government has extended its insurance scheme to give large-scale events financial certainty for another year. Originally due to run until 3 April, the Events Transition Support Scheme will now last until January 2023.

Additional Support for Arts & Culture Sector

The government has announced that the arts and culture industry will receive a funding boost. A one-off $5000 grant will be provided for self-employed individuals or sole traders who can show proof of a loss of income or opportunity to work.

Change in Leave Support Scheme

The Leave Support Scheme is now a weekly payment, instead of a two-week payment amid the change in the periods of self-isolation.

This scheme is available to employers and the self-employed to help pay their employees who have been advised to self-isolate because of COVID-19 and can’t work at home during that period.

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is paid at the rate of:

  • $600.00 a week for full-time workers who were working 20 hours or more a week.
  • $359 a week for part-time workers who were working less than 20 hours a week.

You can learn more about it here.

Events Transition Support Scheme Launched

The Events Transition Support Scheme opened last week, covering 90% of unrecoverable costs for major events cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic. It will apply to live, in-person paid events with over 5,000 attendees from 17 December until 3 April 2022.

Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme

If you employ 50 or fewer staff, you may be able to apply for the Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme. This is a one-off 5 year loan where you can borrow a maximum of $10,000 plus $1,800 per full-time-equivalent employee within your business.

Applications are open until 31 December 2023 through myIR. If your business does not have a myIR account, you will need to create one to apply. Loans will be interest-free if they are paid back within 2 years. The interest rate is 3% for a maximum term of 5 years.

COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment

The Short-Term Absence Payment 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 $359 for each eligible worker. You can find the details here.

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 support available to businesses.

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