Weekly Digest – 7 April 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 Bubble Confirmed

Starting 19 April 2021, travellers from Australia and New Zealand can enjoy quarantine-free travel between the two countries. This new arrangement comes with caveats including ‘green zone’ airports and flights, wherein flights into New Zealand will have only travellers from Australia on board, and not from other destinations, and the flight crew will not have previously visited any COVID-19 ‘hot spots’.

According to Tourism New Zealand, the travel bubble could bring in $1 billion to the economy by the end of the year. Before the pandemic, Australians made up almost 40% of international arrivals to the country and contributed 24% or $2.7 billion of annual international visitor spend.

Over 85,000 Pfizer Doses Administered

Since starting its vaccine rollout at the end of February, New Zealand has administered more than 85,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The government has purchase agreements for 30.3 million doses of four different vaccines: Pfizer, Novavax, AstraZeneca, and the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson. This is enough to cover the population of almost 5 million people more than six times over.

However, Pfizer is the only vaccine provisionally approved by NZ’s medical regulator MedSafe. To date, the country has a stockpile of 450,450 Pfizer vaccine doses.

MedSafe is also evaluating approval applications for both AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines.

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.

This loan scheme is now available to five non-deposit-taking lenders including these Financial Services Federation Members:

  • UDC Finance Limited
  • Prospa NZ Limited
  • FlexiGroup (New Zealand) Limited
  • Speirs Finance Group Ltd

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.

Beware of COVID-Related Scams

CERT NZ (Computer Emergency Response Team) is once again seeing an increase in COVID-related scams as the vaccine rollout ramps up.

The scams involve getting a phone call advising the vaccine is available for $49.99 and requesting people to enter credit card details. Another scam asks people to go to a website where they can ‘vote’ to be eligible for a jab.

In the previous week, there were also reports of an email scam claiming to offer money for taking a survey on the Pfizer vaccine.

Keep in mind that the vaccine is free for all Kiwis. So if you receive requests for payment or financial information, you may report it here or call 0800 2378 69.

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.

Five Startup Killers To Avoid

If you want your new business to succeed, you need to make smart decisions and be strategic. In this Forbes article, a business coach shared five business killers that you should avoid if you want your startup to be successful.

  1. Too much overhead– Start with the bare necessities and focus on surviving your first year in business. By keeping your business lean in the early stages, you may have a positive cash flow.
  2. Limited cash flow– The main reason new businesses have to close is because they don’t have enough money. Avoid making significant cash purchases and use other financing options so you can have sufficient cash in your bank.
  3. Too much planning– Don’t overwhelm yourself with all the little details because there will always be little details.
  4. Too little planning– While it’s better to start with version one than never start at all, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan at all. You need to have a business plan, including processes and systems in place in order to succeed.
  5. Not getting involved in the community– If you’re not networking within your community, you’ll be missing out on vital business connections. Your website and social media are great, but you may also need people in your community to establish your credibility when you’re just starting out.

Need more focused business advice for your startup? Get in touch with us today and let’s work out a plan together!

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