Weekly Digest – 7 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 Restarts Travel Bubble With Victoria, SA, ACT, and Tasmania

New Zealand has reopened the travel bubble for people from certain states in Australia.

From 11:59 pm on Sunday night, those from Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the ACT will be allowed to travel to New Zealand without quarantine, provided they haven’t visited a COVID-19 hotspot.

According to New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, all travellers eligible to fly to New Zealand are required to take a pre-departure test within 72 hours of leaving Australia that must return a negative result. Travellers must also not have been in Queensland, the Northern Territory, or Western Australia since 10:30 pm (NZ time) on 26 June and New South Wales after 11:59 pm (NZ time) on 22 June.

Travel Bubble Between NZ and Western Australia, the Northern Territory to Resume on 9 July

The government announced that Western Australia and Northern Territory have their outbreaks contained, and the travel bubble will resume from 11:59 pm on 9 July. Although the pause remains for NSW and Queensland, those who ordinarily reside in New Zealand will be allowed to travel but with the following requirements:

  • A declaration that they have not been in a location of interest in the past 14 days
  • Not symptomatic
  • Not a close contact of a positive case
  • Not awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test

It’s important to note that pre-departure tests are required, and those linked to a person or place of interest will not be allowed to travel.

Largest Pfizer Vaccine Shipment of 150,000 Doses Has Been Delivered

New Zealand’s largest shipment of 150,000 Pfizer vaccine doses has arrived two days ahead of schedule. The government confirmed that about a million doses of the Pfizer vaccines would arrive this month.

The government is also calling on more vaccinators on board as the country moves to the next phase of the vaccination campaign. Retired and overseas-trained health professionals can now join the growing vaccinator workforce.

New Zealand will likely need between 6,000 and 6,500 people vaccinating part time or full-time.

NZIER Survey: NZ Business Outlook Rebounds in Q2

New Zealand’s business confidence improved in the second quarter, suggesting strong economic recovery over the coming year and fuelling speculations of a sooner-than-expected rate hike.

According to the results of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research’s (NZIER) quarterly survey of business opinion (QSBO), a net 7% of firms expected general business conditions to improve compared with a 13% deterioration predicted in the previous quarter.

Also, 10% expected business conditions to improve– better than the 8% pessimism from the previous period. The trading activity measure of firms also picked up with a net 26% of businesses reporting increased demand in the June quarter, compared to just 2% in the previous one.

Deadline Looms for Businesses to Become Accredited Migrant Employers

The government is phasing out its six migrant visa categories and combining them into a single scheme which puts more responsibility on the employer.

The Accredited Employer Work Visa will be introduced on 1 November. Those who want to hire migrants must first become accredited by demonstrating they were a good employer and their business was financially sound.

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.

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.

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

DigitalBoost.co.nz is a free training and support service to help businesses develop their digital capabilities. This includes providing support on cybersecurity and fraud prevention.

Get in touch with us if you need help with your business.

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.

Conduct a Mid-Year Business Review

Time flies! The year is halfway over and although the battle against COVID-19 is not completely over, a lot of things have changed since last year as countries ramp up their vaccination efforts.

Instead of waiting until the end of the year to do some business clean-up, why not conduct a mid-year review to evaluate your performance, boost your awareness of your business, and start corrective actions early?

This Forbes article provides an actionable checklist to help you look into your business more closely and knock off some tasks so you won’t get overwhelmed by the end of the year. These include:

  • Get to a quiet place and check how you’re feeling. Block off a day or a few to reflect on how you’re feeling about your business. Are you living up to your purpose and vision? Do you feel you’re accomplishing your goals? Are you overwhelmed or anxious about the future of your business?
  • Assess your cash flow. Regardless of your industry or size, cash flow is the life-blood of your business. Monitor how close you are to your targets for revenue and profits, and identify problems or potential issues. Some of the things you should look into include income, profit, owner’s compensation, tax, and operating expenses.
  • Review your tax payments. Check in with your accountant to see if you’re on track with mid-year tax projections. Your accountant can look at your revenue, make a projection, and estimate how much you should owe during tax season.
  • Conduct an expenses analysis. If you’re having cash flow troubles or you simply want to have more cash, you can review your expenses and either increase sales or cut costs. Cutting costs is usually quicker.
  • Write down what’s next. Develop steps to accomplish new goals and write them down. What can you do about the obstacles you’re facing? How and when are you going to do it? How do you feel about it?

Remember, the purpose of this review is improvement or progress, and not perfection. If you need some guidance to push your business forward, get in touch with us today and let’s discuss how we can help!

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