Weekly Digest – 12 May 2021

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

500 Extra Managed Isolation Spaces Every Fortnight For Skilled and Critical Workers

The government has announced 500 spaces a fortnight in managed isolation will be allocated over the next 10 months – the majority for skilled and critical workers. The current policy is for at least 10% of MIQ spaces to be given to these workers, but this announcement means 500 would be set aside for certain groups on a targeted basis.

New Zealand COVID-19 Travel Bubble With NSW Resumed

New Zealand reinstated its COVID-19 travel bubble with New South Wales starting last Sunday, after temporarily pausing quarantine-free travel last week amid reports of two COVID-19 cases in Sydney. Quarantine-free travel to New Zealand from Australia was introduced in April, following the relative success of both countries containing COVID-19.

Māori Business Identifier Goes Live

Māori businesses can identify themselves as a Māori business on the New Zealand Business Number register. This will allow them to benefit from the opportunities provided by the NZBN, doing business with confidence and certainty, connecting and interacting more easily, with more accuracy, saving time and money.

Māori businesses who already have an NZBN will have a check-box field to complete on their existing digital NZBN registration to indicate if they identify as Maori. If you don’t have an NZBN, you can apply for one at www.nzbn.govt.nz.

Budget 2021 to Focus on Economic Recovery, Housing Affordability, Climate Change, and Child Wellbeing

Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced in his first major pre-budget speech that aside from keeping Kiwis safe from COVID-19, Budget 2021 will be focused on accelerating economic recovery and addressing the three biggest foundational challenges: housing affordability, climate change, and child wellbeing.

As the government had already spent $926 million less on pandemic relief and response, Robertson said these savings could now be funnelled into the country’s pandemic recovery efforts.

The actual budget will be announced on 20 May and we will keep you informed.

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.

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.

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.

Strategies for Lowering Your Startup Costs

Starting a business can be expensive, even if you’re just working with something small and lean. This Forbes article shares some strategies to ease the financial burden that you might face upon entering the world of entrepreneurship:

  • Consider buying used equipment, machinery, or vehicles
  • Lease instead of buying expensive equipment
  • Reduce overhead expenses such as by reducing the size of your workspace
  • Hire only who you need– at least at first
  • Secure a floating line of credit
  • Invest in insurance for financial protection in a number of areas
  • Form mutually beneficial partnerships with other entrepreneurs

The earliest stage of your business development is going to be the hardest financially. So if you need more toughest advice, get in touch with us for a one-on-one consultation.

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