Weekly Digest – 28 July 2021

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

New Zealand-Australia Travel Bubble Bursts

The New Zealand government has suspended the travel bubble with Australia from 11:59pm on 23 July, as the threat from the Delta COVID-19 outbreaks has become too great. New Zealanders returning home will face a range of quarantine and self-isolation measures.

The pause on quarantine-free travel will be in place for at least eight weeks.

1.5 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Due to Arrive in August

The government is expecting about 1.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to arrive in August, and booking will become available to those in group 4 aged between 60 and 65 from 28 July.

While analysis of vaccination data showed over 2 million doses still needed to be given to those in group 3, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said group vaccinations could be done concurrently. The number of vaccination sites will be increased and no one is going to miss out, said the PM, noting that there has been a 41% increase in vaccines over the last week compared to the week prior.

Kiwi Cleantech Startups Get Government Support

The NZ CleanTech Mission partnership has been established to convert local cleantech into profitable businesses. This cross-government partnership has been formed to make New Zealand into a centre of global clean tech excellence and allow cleantech innovators to compete with their foreign counterparts.

Health Research Getting Support in Latest Funding

Research into some of the biggest health concerns in the country including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease is getting crucial support in the latest round of health research funding.

Through the Health Research Council of New Zealand, 31 General Project grants ($36.64 million), five Rangahau Hauora Māori grants ($5.91 million), five Pacific Project grants ($5.79 million), and four Programme grants ($19.99 million) have been awarded.

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 Startups Can Overcome the Challenge of Scaling Up

When a startup tries to make the leap and scale up its operations, it may be faced with issues such as lack of funding, loss of focus, changing market needs, and being overtaken by competitors. So if you’re ready to take your business to the next level, read this Forbes article that shares some steps to improve your chances of success.

  • Build a strong ecosystem. Build a solid foundation by establishing a strong ecosystem of strategic partners and investors.
  • Prove you mean business. Take time to find ways on how to prove the validity of your products or services in order to build a good network of partners and increase your customers.
  • Find your manufacturing match. If you sell physical products, finding a manufacturing partner who shares your vision is crucial.
  • Lower the cost of entry. Find ways to manufacture your products as cost-efficiently as possible not only to make your business more attractive to potential partners, but also to improve your profitability in the future.
  • Build your supply chain. Establish robust supply chains from day one instead of pouring all your resources into R&D or other areas of your business.

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