Covid-19 information

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Funding explorer tool

Your business could have more funding options available than you think. Describe your situation and get help finding the best funding options for you by using this tool.

Free marketing tool

As part of ATEED’s commitment to supporting Auckland businesses and rebuilding the regional economy, they are offering a free marketing tool provided by branding agency Re:Brand. Click here for a brand health check.

COVID-19 UPDATE

See below for a summary about the Wage Subsidy Extension, Small Business Loan Scheme and Income Relief Payment Programme. This is a guideline only and we recommend you seek professional assistance from an HR consultant, employment lawyer, accountant or business advisor for specific advice.

COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Extension
Available from 10 June 2020

The original Wage Subsidy has been extended for a further eight weeks, but you must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be an eligible employer
  • Business must be in NZ
  • Employees must be legally working in NZ
  • You must have a 40% decline in revenue (initially 50%). This has now been changed to a 40% drop in revenue for a 30 day continuous period in the 40 days before applying (starting no earlier than 10 May 2020), compared to the closest period last year.
  • You must mitigate the financial impact
  • You must retain the employees you’re applying for AND
    • Try your hardest to pay staff at least 80% of their usual wages;
    • if that isn’t possible, pay at least the rate of the Wage Subsidy Extension that applies to that employee.
    • If the amount of the subsidy is more than an employee’s usual wages you must use the surplus to fund other employees wages where possible and, where this is not possible, return any surplus funding to MSD. These obligations also apply to self-employed workers i.e. if you receive a subsidy that is more than your usual earnings, you will be required to repay the balance to MSD.
    • Continue paying that amount for the duration of the subsidy.
    • If you have given employees notice of redundancy, you won’t be eligible to receive the subsidy for those employees unless you withdraw the redundancy notice.

The additional Wage Subsidy is paid as a lump sum covering eight weeks per employee from the date you submit your application. Rates are the same as the initial Wage Subsidy ($585.50 for people working 20 hours or more, or $350 for people working 20 hours or less per week).

The Wage Subsidy Extension must be passed on to the employees you claim for and your obligations under employment law continue to apply.

How to apply:

  • If you received the original wage subsidy, you should get an email before the current 12 week Wage Subsidy ends. It will tell you when & how to apply for the eight-week COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Extension.
  • The email will list the staff you were paid the 12-week COVID-19 subsidy for, and give you details about when you can apply for the Wage Subsidy Extension for them & any other staff.
  • You cannot receive the Wages Subsidy extension until the initial wage Subsidy payments have finished.
If you haven’t applied for the Wage Subsidy before, you can click here and fill out the online form to apply. All payments will be subject to audits & reviews.

Small Business Loan Scheme – Extended

The Government has announced a six-week extension for the Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme (SBC). Applications opened on 12 May 2020 and will close on 24 July 2020. All other conditions remain the same. For details of loan conditions click here.

Small Business Loan Scheme Summary:

  • Businesses must have fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees and be eligible for the Wage Subsidy Scheme
  • Businesses need to have a sound plan to be viable going forward and hold info on file to verify this
  • Administered by the IRD
  • $10,000 loan + $1,800 per full-time equivalent employee (up to $100,000)
  • Interest @ 3% per annum (Interest not charged if the loan is fully repaid within 1 year)
  • Repayments not compulsory in the first 24 months
  • Maximum of 5 years, and must be repaid by 31 July 2025

Income Relief Payment Programme

Available from 8 June 2020 to support people who have lost their jobs because of the impacts of COVID-19. You can get up to 12 weeks financial support to help with living costs after sudden job loss, giving you time to find other work.

Who can get it:

  • Lost your job (including self employment) from 1st March 2020 to 30th October 2020, due to COVID-19
  • Normally work 15 hours or more a week (for 12 weeks or more) before you lost your job because of COVID-19
  • Must normally be living in NZ, when you lost your job
  • Must be a NZ Citizen or resident with a residence class visa
  • Must be 18 years or over, or a financially independent 16-17 year old
  • You will not qualify for the Income Relief Payment, if you have a partner earning $2000 or more in wages or salary each week, before tax
  • You MAY be able to get the Income Relief Payment, if you also receive NZ Super – other criteria to be met
  • Students who are studying MAY be eligible for Income Relief Payment, at the same time as receiving Student Loan for living costs. Other criteria apply, and amount to receive may vary. See Work & Income website.

Other Situations:
Receiving Paid Parental Leave from IRD

  • You cannot get the Income Relief Payment if you get Paid Parental Leave, even if you’ve lost your job. You can get it up until your Paid Parental Leave starts, or after it stops
  • If you partner gets Paid Parental Leave, you can still get the Income Relief Payment as long as you meet the criteria

Self Employed:

  • If you were self employed, you may be able to get the Income Relief Payment if:
    • your business is no longer viable, with no upcoming work or income, because of COVID-19, AND
    • you meet the criteria for who can get it
  • If you have received, or you are waiting for approval for a loan from the Small Business Cashflow Loan, you are not eligible for the Income Relief Payments.

You will not qualify for the COVID-19 Income Relief Payment if you:

  • get a redundancy payment of $30,000 or more, before tax
  • get or used to get private income protection insurance payments for the job you lost
  • are getting weekly earnings-related compensation from ACC or Veterans’ Affairs
  • left your job for another reason – for example you:
    • resigned
    • retired
    • wound up a viable business, or
    • were dismissed (eg. for misconduct)
    • still have a job
  • You can’t get the Income Relief Payment at the same time as COVID-19 Wage Subsidy or Leave Support payments.

Click here to apply for the income relief payment.

Business Advisory Fund

To support NZ businesses during COVID-19, the Government has allocated an additional $25million for business advisory funding through the Regional Business Partner Network (RBPN).

This funding is for professional, expert advice and support in: HR, health and wellbeing, business continuity, cashflow and finance management, strategy and digital capability.

Business owners can apply for up to $5000 excl. GST per business from the COVID-19 Business Advisory Fund of which up to $2000 can be spent with one service provider. In other words, you could apply for $5000 and use that funding to cover $2000 worth of HR advice, $2000 cashflow planning support and $1000 for marketing.

Businesses must be registered on the Regional Business Partner (RBP) Network to access this funding.

Click here to register here to join the RBP – it will ask for your GST number to check that you are not already registered. Follow instructions: tick the box to confirm this is COVID-19 related advice, answer key information about your business and accept the T&Cs.

Once you have registered, a funding advisor will make contact to confirm your eligibility and discuss your business needs.

If your business is ‘approved’, the advisor will issue you with voucher to access the support services you need from RBPN registered providers. You can choose who you want to work with and use the voucher to ‘pay’ for services received.

Funding applications are open until 30 June 2020.

Businesses already registered with the RBPN through ATEED, will be asked to email the support desk at info@regionalbusinesspartners.co.nz for further advice and help.

Eligibility Criteria for Auckland businesses applying for Covid-19 Business Advisory Funding
Covid-19 is affecting your business
You must be an employer with less than 100 employees
Your business must have been sound prior to Covid-19

Non-eligible organisations
Charitable trusts
Incorporated societies

Other resources:
Call 0800 500 362 for the Covid-19 Business Helpline for specific advice and access to Government-funded business support

Business advice web series

EMA web series

Government’s central resource for COVID-19 business information, here

Local RBPN service providers

  • ConsultingHQ – HR, health and safety
  • KGA Accounting Plus has developed a complimentary Business Continuity Plan Template and Guide to help you map out the coming months.

Please email KGA for a copy of these templates.
One of the team will then be in touch to talk you through how best to complete these documents and start planning.

KGA also invites you read their latest blog post here which includes an excerpt of key messages from their recent Business Continuity Plan Webinar.

You can watch the on-demand webinar here. You will be prompted to register your details to watch the webinar.

You can apply for funding to get help from KGA to complete a Business Continuity Plan or for cashflow forecasting through the RBP funding.

Other helpful advice

Local law firm WRMK offers advice for employers in their latest newsletter.

Covid-19 Business Advisory Fund Webinar Replay (click to watch)

Webinar replay: HR advice for businesses operating under Level 2 (click to watch)

Supporting our businesses during COVID-19.

Find Out More!
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