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.
Contact Development West Coast on:
For the latest COVID-19 business updates and information visit www.business.govt.nz/covid-19/
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.
COVID-19 business support
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.
Applications are open until 31 December 2023.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.