Weekly Digest – 7 October 2020

Hello again – welcome to the latest edition of our Weekly Digest. Read on for this week’s update.

Auckland to Move to Alert Level 1

Auckland will move to Alert Level 1 at 11.59pm on Wednesday night.

Under level 1, Aucklanders will now be able to go about life as usual, which is great news as it will likely mean business activity will pick up. However, it is important to note that businesses are still required to display their QR Code for the NZ Covid Tracer App.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern urges everyone to stay vigilant and play their part to prevent resurgence of the virus and stay at Alert Level 1.

If you want to discuss how to operate safely and remain compliant as we continue to battle the pandemic, feel free to reach out to us.

NZ Company Secures $3.3M For Homegrown Vaccine

The COVID-19 Vaccine Corporation has collaborated with University of Auckland, Callaghan Innovation, and research institute Scion to independently develop a homegrown COVID-19 vaccine.

It has secured $3.3 million in private funding and aims to complete its first human trial of the new vaccine by the end of next year, which will cost around $8 million.

Business Events Get Green Signal Across NZ

The confirmation of Auckland’s move to Alert Level 1 is awesome news for the business events industry. As Kiwis have been given the green light to meet, business events such as conferences, seminars, workshops, or team recognition events are now allowed.

In line with this, the Conventions and Incentives New Zealand has opened registrations for BE Reconnected, which is a free industry exhibition and networking day in Auckland on 1 December.

Live Webinars to Help You Navigate Through The Crisis

Two live business webinars organised by Auckland Emergency Management will be held on Thursday 15 October at 6pm and on Monday 19 October at 10am. Participants will not only learn how to build resilience during disruptive events such as COVID-19, but can also ask questions and share their experiences or ideas.

To register, you may visit resorgs.org.nz/aem-webinars. However, if you want a one-on-one session on how your business can bounce back stronger, you may get in touch with us for a business consultation.

Free Expert 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 the best time to get consultancy services in the following key areas:

  • HR, employee relations and legal – including restructures, employment contracts, legal obligations and HR processes, and ownership structures
  • Financial and cashflow management – including cashflow forecasting, business scenario forecasting, capital raising and debt restructuring
  • Health and wellness – including health and safety plans, employee wellbeing plans and stress management coaching
  • Business continuity planning – including crisis management, pivot strategies and business continuity plans or business resilience plans
  • Marketing strategy – including plans for marketing, product launches, digital marketing and reaching new customers
  • Digital enablement strategy – including social media strategy, ecommerce strategy, website optimisation, and digital customer journey mapping
  • Business hibernation (for tourism businesses only) – including business debt hibernation processes and scenario planning

Those who haven’t previously accessed support from the Regional Business Partner have to register on the RBP website first. You would 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, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We can help you develop a plan for your specific situation.

Government Loan Applications Extended

The government has extended the Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme until the end of the year. For those who haven’t applied for this government loan yet, you can check your eligibility here or you can get in touch with us so we can assist you with your application.

The Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme allows you to get financial assistance of up to $100,000 and an additional $1800 per equivalent full-time employee. Repayments are not required for the first two years, but if the loan is paid back within a year, there will be no interest.

How Small Businesses Can Source Finance During COVID-19

Although there are government funding schemes and support available, you might still need alternative finance to keep your business going.

If you are not sure where to turn for funding, consider these three sources of finance:

  • External sources– This type of finance come from entities outside the business in the form of business loans, merchant cash advance, and invoice financing.
  • Internal sources– This is sourcing funds from within the business, typically in the form of share capital and selling of assets.
  • Personal sources– This means using your personal funds to finance certain elements of your business. This could mean using your personal savings and investments and selling your personal property.

If your small business is struggling due to the impacts of COVID-19, get in touch with us so we can help you assess your options and plan your business recovery.

The Future of Work in the Post-Pandemic World

With social restrictions intended to curb the spread of COVID-19 still in place, the way we work and conduct business have changed significantly.

Here are some of the most notable ways COVID-19 can shape the future of work temporarily or for the long term, according to Gartner.

  • Increase in remote working
    Companies will shift to more remote work operations and will collaborate digitally.
  • Expanded data collection
    Remote workers will be monitored more in terms of productivity, employee engagement, and well-being.
  • Contingent worker expansion
    Companies will expand their use of contingent workers to maintain more flexibility in workforce management in the post-pandemic world. Other job models such as talent sharing and 80% pay for 80% work will also be introduced.
  • Expanded employer role as social safety net
    Employers will play a greater role in their employees’ financial, physical, and mental well-being. Support includes enhanced sick leave, financial assistance, adjusted hours of operation and child care provisions.
  • Transition from designing for efficiency to designing for resilience
    There will be greater emphasis on building a more resilient business which is flexible and can respond or correct course quickly with change.

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