COVID-19 business support

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If you need any assistance or clarification on how to access COVID-19 support, or would like to talk with one of Development West Coast's Capability and Growth Advisors, we are here to help.

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For the latest COVID-19 business updates and information visit

March 23, 2022

Changes to Covid-19 settings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a new transition phase of the COVID Protection Framework.

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COVID-19 Protection Framework

The COVID-19 Protection Framework has replaced the Alert Level system It provides more flexibility for businesses as New Zealand manages COVID-19 in the community.

New Zealand shifted to Phase 3 of the response to Omicron at 11:59pm 24 February 2022.

Managing household contacts

If a household contact is vaccinated and asymptomatic, they may be able to continue to work if they work in a 'Bubble of one' or are a 'Critical Worker'.

'Bubble of one' worker exemption

Available to all businesses

At Phase Two and Phase Three of the Omicron response, any business or sole trader may have a worker who is a close contact on-site if this worker is not customer facing, and can maintain a ‘bubble of one’ while at work (including travel to and from work)

The requirements are that the worker:

  • is vaccinated,
  • does not have any symptoms (asymptomatic),
  • is able to maintain an individual ‘bubble of one’ while at work (whether indoors or outdoors),
  • they are not required to use rapid antigen testing as part of this, nore are businesses required to register for 'bubble of one'.

More info

Close contact exemption scheme

Available to 'critical' businesses

During Phases Two and Three of the Omicron response, workers at registered critical services who are vaccinated and asymptomatic close contacts of a COVID-19 case will be able to continue to work, as long as they return a negative rapid antigen test prior to each day/shift they are at work during the isolation period, and follow specific health protocols.

They will only be allowed to go to work – not anywhere else.

Workers who are participating in the scheme will be able to collect free Rapid Antigen Test kits from a collection site. has a self-assessment tool to help businesses assess whether they are critical.

More info

COVID-19 business support

COVID Support Payment

The 2nd Covid Support Payment (CSP) opened at 8am 14 March 2022, and a 3rd CSP will open on 8am 28 March 2022. All applications are through myIR and close 5 May 2022.

The COVID Support Payment is available for businesses struggling with revenue during the Omicron outbreak.

Each COVID Support Payment will be $4000 per business plus $400 per full-time employee, capped at 50 FTEs or $24,000. This is the same rate as the most recent Transition Payment.

Applications for the first payment opened on 28 February, with payments starting from 1 March.

It will be available on a fortnightly basis for six weeks, with three payments in total. This reflects the international experience that the peak of the Omicron outbreak should pass after about six weeks.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson says the Government will continue to closely monitor the situation and has the option to extend the payment if necessary.

Firms must show a 40% drop in 7 consecutive days from within the 6 weeks prior to the shift to Phase 2 of the Omicron response on 15 February, compared to 7 days after that date.

More info

March 16, 2022

Covid Support Payment (CSP) information

TECNZ has provided this information to assist with applications to Covid Support Payment CSP

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Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme

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 Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme provides assistance to firms employing 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees. The maximum amount that can be borrowed is $10,000 plus $1,800 per full-time-equivalent employee and only one amount can be drawn down.

Changes are also being made to the Small Business Cashflow Loans Scheme to increase the amount of funding available to eligible businesses through the introduction of a ‘top up’ loan.

The top up loan will allow those firms that have already accessed a loan to draw down an additional $10,000 with a new repayment period of 5 years and the first 2 years being interest free. Cabinet has also agreed to remove the first two years of accrued base interest from all borrowers who have, or will, take out a loan under the scheme. This change means interest will only start accruing at the beginning of year 3.

More info

COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme

If your employees have been told by a health official to self-isolate and they cannot work from home, you can can apply for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme for them. You can also apply if you are self-employed or a sole trader.

The scheme means employees and self-employed people receive an income if they cannot work from home while they’re self-isolating.

The COVID-19 Leave Support is paid as a lump sum, calculated to cover 2 weeks. You can re-apply after this time if your employees still qualify.

If your employees work in health, disability or aged-care facilities or services and they have COVID-19 symptoms, you can tell them to self-isolate while they wait to get a test or they are waiting for their test results. They will still be eligible for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme.

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Short-Term Absence Payment

The Short-Term Absence Payment is available to employers to pay workers who follow public health guidance and stay home while waiting for a COVID-19 test result.  It’s also available to eligible self-employed workers. To be eligible, workers need to be unable to work from home and need to miss work while waiting for their test results.

There’s a one-off payment of $359 payment for each eligible worker. Employers or the self-employed can apply for any worker once in any 30-day period, unless a health official or doctor tells the worker to get another test.

More info

Insolvency relief for businesses

The Companies Office offers relief for companies and other entities facing difficulties in complying with their statutory obligations, or obligations under their constitutions or rules, as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Business Debt Hibernation scheme allows businesses to place their existing debts on hold for up to 7 months to help them start trading normally again. 

Information on how you can access the insolvency relief and the requirements that you’ll need to meet is available on the Companies Office website.

More info

Apprenticeship Boost Initiative

Support will be available to employers of first and second year apprentices in a Tertiary Education Commission-approved New Zealand Apprenticeship or Managed Apprenticeship programme.

The amount that can be claimed will vary depending on when an apprentice started their training programme and when they reach 24 months. Employers can claim:

  • $1,000 a month for eligible apprentices in the first 12 months of their training programme
  • $500 a month in the second 12 months of their training programme.

Funding will be available until April 2022.

Employers are required to top up the funding they receive to ensure their apprentices receive at least the minimum or training wage they are legally entitled to.

More info

Mental well-being

The current environment is a very stressful time for business owners and employees. If you feel you’re not coping, it’s important to talk with a health professional.

There are helplines available that offer support, information and help. All services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

More info

March 28, 2022

Mental Health & Wellbeing during a pandemic

Managing your own mental health and wellbeing, as well as your employees, in times of a pandemic.

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March 3, 2022

Managing Health and Safety in a crisis

Key learnings from managing the Omicron outbreak within a large business.

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