COVID-19 – What you need to know

With the constant changes in Covid-19 levels and the uncertainty this brings to business,  here is a summary of what support business owners can access to help you through the hard times.


COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Payments Started This Week

Applications for the wage subsidy opened last week and payments started to flow on Monday.

This scheme allows employers to continue paying staff and protect jobs that may have been affected with the recent alert level changes.

You can apply to cover the wages of your employees over a 2-week period, and claim $585.80 per week for each full time employee or $350 per part-time employee.

Who can apply

New Zealand businesses who have had or expect to have a 40% decline in revenue over a consecutive 14-day period between 28 February and 21 March, compared to a typical 14-day period between 4 January and 14 February 2021 (6 weeks before the change in alert levels), may be able to get it.  Businesses with highly seasonal revenue will be able to compare their decline in revenue to the same period of 14 consecutive days in 2020 or 2019.

The eligibility criteria can be found here.


Apply for the Wage Subsidy March 2021 using an online application form. Applications close on 21 March at 11.59pm.

You can’t apply for the same employee twice. You can only apply for employees you haven’t already applied for.

We also have the Leave Support Scheme and the Short-Term Absence Payment available to employers. You cannot get more than one COVID-19 payment for the same employee at the same time from MSD.   Steps on how to apply are for the wage subsidy are laid out here.

Resurgence Support Payment

The Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) is for businesses or organisations with reduced revenue due to a COVID alert level increase to level 2 or higher.

Applications are currently still open to businesses and organisations affected by the alert level escalation on 15 February 2021. The last day for applications for this event is Monday 22 March 2021. Applicants must demonstrate that their decline in revenue is for this alert level period.

Applications are open to businesses and organisations affected by the alert level escalation of 28 February 2021. Applicants must demonstrate that their 30% decline in revenue is for this alert level period.

Businesses and organisations that have experienced a 30% revenue loss as a result of both periods at higher alert levels will need to make 2 applications by choosing a start date. They would be eligible for 2 RSP payments if they meet the criteria.

Learn more about eligibility and which businesses can apply for this support here.

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.

Business Finance Guarantee Scheme Open Until June

Business Finance Guarantee loans can help small and medium businesses access credit for cashflow, capital assets and projects related to, responding to or recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.

All New Zealand registered banks and non-bank deposit takers (non-banks) are eligible to apply to join the scheme.

Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to access credit from either a participating bank or a non-bank, but not both.

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 assistance or have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.

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.  Go on and check it out.

The Treasury website’s COVID-19 Economic Response Measures can also provide more information on the range of supports available to businesses.

Covid-19 Resources

Did you know we have a whole area in the website for Covid-19 resources?  This includes weekly updates re Covid-19, Government assistance, business advice and wellbeing.  Have a look around and let us know what you think.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions regarding support available or want to discuss the next steps for your business.

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