Weekly Digest – 25 November 2020

Hello again – welcome to the latest edition of our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas that will help us all move forward.

Government Working Through Ramifications of Vaccine

The Government is working out how many people would need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the borders could be opened. According to COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins, it could still be 12 to 18 months before borders open and life returns to normal.

NZ has a purchasing agreement with Pfizer and is still looking into other potential vaccines that will be developed. Priority will be given to those more at risk of spreading, catching, or dying from the virus.

Kiwi Dollar Hits Two-Year High

The New Zealand dollar hit a more than two-year high on Tuesday, as investors scaled back wagers of more policy easing by the country’s central bank. The New Zealand benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index also ended 0.4% higher on Tuesday.

Retail Sales Increase By Biggest Margin in 25 Years

Recent data by Stats NZ showed retail sales jumped 7.4% year-on-year in the September quarter, the largest rise since 1995. Spending on major household items, vehicles, and groceries contributed to the $1.8 billion increase in total retail sales. However, it still did not make up for the 15% decline in the COVID-19-affected June 2020 quarter.

NZ Central Bank to Resume Loan-to-Value Ratio Restrictions From March

New Zealand’s central bank announced that it intends to re-impose mortgage lending curbs in March next year amid growing concerns of a housing bubble in the country. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand had removed the loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions on mortgage lending for 12 months until May to spur credit flow and boost the economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Online Māori Mall Launched to Help Small Māori Businesses

With the help of a $200,000 grant from Te Puni Kōkiri, the Hokohoko Māori Mall website was launched, along with business mentoring and networking as a key part of the initiative.

The goal was to get 100 Māori businesses on the platform with 500 products by June 2021. Currently, 60 businesses have already joined.

New $40 Million COVID-19 Fund Opens

Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs has announced that a new lottery fund worth $40 million has opened. The fund will provide one-off grants for community and social initiatives that will ensure that iwi, hapū and communities across New Zealand are safe and resilient following COVID-19.

This new fund is part of $178 million that has been allocated by the Lottery Grants Board this year to support community and social initiatives, marae, community facilities, heritage, environment activities, outdoor safety, health research and individuals with disabilities.

More details about applying for funding can be found on the Community Matters website. If you need help in assessing your eligibility or considering other funding options available to you, feel free to contact us.

Financial Help For Small Māori-owned Businesses Extended

The $10 million Māori Trustee Top-Up Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme, which has paid almost $1 million to Māori-owned small and medium-sized enterprises, has been extended until 31 December 2020.

If you need assistance with your application or would like to take advantage of other financial help you are eligible for, contact us today so we can guide you in considering your options.

Financial Help For Small Māori-owned Businesses Extended

The $10 million Māori Trustee Top-Up Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme, which has paid almost $1 million to Māori-owned small and medium-sized enterprises, has been extended until 31 December 2020.

If you need assistance with your application or would like to take advantage of other financial help you are eligible for, contact us today so we can guide you in considering your options.

FREE Team Collaboration Tools for Small Businesses

As remote work arrangements have become far more common than ever, team collaboration and communication tools have become necessary to keep the work running smoothly. If you are looking to cut down on your monthly expenses, below are some FREE tools that can help.

Best Tools for Chat

Slack
Slack sorts out team communication into various messaging channels so everyone can stay in the loop. Its free plan will give you access to unlimited messages, video calls, and channels.
Flock
A great alternative to Slack, Flock makes it easy for your team to stay in touch. The free version comes with unlimited one-on-one and group messages, 5GB of storage for each member, and access to up to 10 different channels.
Microsoft Teams
Initially exclusive for companies with Office 365 subscription, Microsoft Teams now has a free plan for small businesses and startups. It is free for up to 300 users, offers unlimited messages and channels, and can integrate with over 140 different popular apps.

Best Tools for Video Conferencing

Zoom
Currently the most popular video conferencing app today, Zoom offers video and private chat options, screen-sharing capabilities, and private chat options. The free plan allows up to 100 participants, unlimited one-on-one meetings, and group meetings limited to 40 minutes.
RingCentral
RingCentral is also a reliable way to host video and audio calls. You can also share screens, record meetings, unlimited one-on-one calls, engage in group or private text chats, and group calls limited to 40 minutes.
Skype
Also a widely used video conferencing tool, Skype provides audio and HD video calls, public and private chats, group calls for up to 25 participants, and screen sharing. What makes Skype unique is its voice translator which supports 10 different languages.

Best Tools for Project Management and File Sharing

Google Drive
Google Drive allows you to collaborate with your team over documents in real time. Signing up to Google Drive also allows you to gain access to Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Trello
An all in one project management tool, Trello boards let you manage every aspect of a project from start to end. Users can assign tasks, due dates, tag other users in comments, share documents, and create built-in workflows.
Asana
One of the best apps for assigning tasks, staying on top of your team’s progress, and improving team communication, Asana is free for up to 15 team members.

Need more expert business advice and tips? Get in touch with us for a FREE one-on-one consultation!

Free Business Advice for Auckland Businesses

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) has supported thousands of businesses affected by COVID-19 this year by giving them access to fully funded expert advice amounting to $10 million.

If you haven’t connected with them, now is a good time to get consultancy services in areas such as HR, employee relations, legal, health and wellness, marketing strategy, digital enablement strategy and more.

Those who haven’t previously accessed support from the Regional Business Partner have to register on the RBP website first. You will need your GST number and NZBN number to do this. Meanwhile, Auckland businesses already registered can email the ATEED Business Helpdesk for their application, even if initial support from the COVID-19 Business Advisory Fund has been accessed.

If you would like to chat about your business, particularly on the financial side, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We can help you develop a plan for your specific situation.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.

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