Key Factors of Financial Business Support for Covid-19 in New Zealand

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The Covid-19 pandemic was initially a health crisis before it rapidly transformed into an economic crisis, affecting all businesses. Most governments imposed curfews, lockdowns, and other restrictions on public gatherings, which severely impacted business operations. As things got worse, international travel was restricted, and non-essential businesses closed to minimize the spread of the virus. Most governments had to step in, not only to slow down the infection rate but also to offer financial business support.

This article will discuss the key aspects of business support in New Zealand during the covid-19 pandemic. 

The New Zealand government launched multiple schemes to support businesses affected by the pandemic. It announced a 12.1 billion U.S. Dollar support package to help deal with the crisis. The treasury was working with the entire government to:

  • Cushion the financial impact on businesses, communities, workers, and families,
  • Rebuild the New Zealand economy, and
  • Position the country for recovery.

Most of these financial business support schemes require good records of your business and employees. These documents will help in assessing whether you qualify for support. Most businesses store their records as pdf files, which makes them usable across multiple platforms. 

An efficient scanner app can help you organize your records. For instance, you can use the best pdf scanner app for iPhone to transfer docs to your phone. This makes it easier to share docs in pdf with the relevant authorities. Furthermore, the app captures the docs ID, making it easier to identify documents and verify authenticity.   

Here are some of the schemes introduced to provide business support in New Zealand. 

Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme

The wage subsidy scheme is designed to support businesses that are reducing staff hours or laying off staff due to covid-19. The subsidy is a lump sum payment to the employer, who should use it to cover the employee’s wages for 12 weeks. All employers, sole traders, contractors, and self-employed persons adversely affected by the pandemic can qualify for the subsidy. 

However, you must meet the following criteria to qualify for this subsidy for employers affected by covid-19 in New Zealand.

  • The business must be registered and operating in New Zealand. 
  • Employees must be legally working in New Zealand, which includes those with the following:
    • A New Zealand work visa
    • A condition on their temporary visa allowing them to work in New Zealand
    • International students with visas allowing them to work in New Zealand
  • The business must have experienced at least a 30 percent decline in actual or projected revenue within a month compared to the previous period, and the decline is covid-19 related.
  • The business must have taken active steps to reduce the effects of covid-19.
  • The employer must retain the benefiting employees for the subsidy period.

The employee wage subsidy is paid at a flat rate as follows:

  • A full-time rate of 585.80 U.S. Dollars for workers working 20 hours and above weekly.
  • A part-time rate of 350.00 U.S. Dollars for those working less than 20 hours weekly.

Business Finance Guarantee Scheme

The New Zealand Government introduced the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme to protect jobs and support businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The scheme is run by the government in partnership with approved banks and aims at offering new loans and increasing existing limits to eligible businesses.

The scheme offers financial business support to enterprises whose annual revenue is between 250,000 and 80 million U.S. dollars. Such businesses qualify for loans of up to half a million U.S. Dollars with a repayment period of up to three years. The Business Finance Guarantee Scheme will support businesses with operating expenses and cash flow. It aims to offer 6.25 billion U.S. dollars in loans to businesses affected by covid-a9 in New Zealand. 

The approved banks cover only 20 percent of the risk, while the government guarantees 80 percent. However, the banks use the normal lending process and approve the loans.  

Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme (SBCS)

This scheme aims at supporting small businesses, including the self-employed and sole traders, affected by covid-19 by offering loans to support their cash flow. Unlike the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme, SBCS targets smaller businesses, offering loans up to 100,000 U.S. Dollars. These are enterprises employing 50 full-time employees or fewer.   

Government business support in New Zealand is not limited to big businesses. You can use the SBCS eligibility tool and learn how to apply. However, you will need an Inland Revenue account, commonly called myIR account. Most applicants receive their loans from Inland Revenue in five working days. 

Leave Support Scheme

The Covid-19 Leave Support Scheme helps employers pay employees who are in self-isolation because of Covid-19 and can’t work remotely because:

  • They have Covid-19
  • They are at risk of serious illnesses from Covid-19, have a household member who is at risk, or a medical practitioner has advised them to self-isolate.
  • They are caring for a dependent suffering from Covid-19.

Self-employed persons can also apply for the scheme. Employers have eight weeks from the end of their workers’ self-isolation to apply. To apply, you fill out an online form, depending on whether you are self-employed, an employer, or a large employer. However, you must be in Australia or New Zealand when you apply.  

The scheme pays 600 U.S. Dollars weekly to full-time workers and 359 U.S. Dollars to part-time workers.  

Conclusion

The Covid-19 pandemic affected most businesses across all industries, and governments had to step in to keep businesses afloat. The New Zealand government launched numerous financial business support schemes. Business records help to identify which businesses are eligible for support under the various schemes. Therefore, it is important to maintain records, and an efficient scanner app can help you transfer docs on your phone. You can then share docs in pdf with different agencies to help determine which of the above schemes you can apply.