COVID-19 Business Update – 11 September 2020

Update

Hello again – welcome to the latest edition of our Weekly Digest.  Read on for this week’s update.

Keeping Auckland at Alert Level 2.5

Mayor Phil Goff says keeping Auckland at Alert Level 2.5 is the right decision and is asking residents to continue playing their part.  Moving too early can cause further resurgence of the virus, so everyone is urged to stay the course.

At Alert Level 2.5, social gatherings will be limited to 10 people, except for Auckland funerals and tangihanga- which can have up to 50 people.  Also, face masks are compulsory on public transport.

While people can leave the house, the 2-metre social distancing rule applies.  All schools and workplaces, including those with face-to-face interaction are allowed to open, but those coming to work are encouraged to wear face masks.

The police checkpoints at Auckland’s highway borders have already been removed and regional travel resumes in and out of the city limits.

If your business is struggling to recover in this pandemic, message us so we can help you work out a plan.

Doing Business at Alert Level 2

Now that New Zealand is back at Alert Level 2, here’s a reminder of the golden rules for doing business according to the Government:

  • CovidAll businesses can operate if they can do so safely. Alternative ways of working are encouraged where possible.
  • Talk with your staff to identify risks and ways to manage them.
  • Ask everyone — workers, contractors and customers — with cold or flu-like symptoms to stay away from your premises.
  • Keep workers 1 metre apart and customers in retail businesses 2 metres apart.
  • Keep groups of customers at least 1 metre apart, or 2 metres for retail businesses.
  • Businesses need to display a QR code and have an alternative contact tracing system.
  • Face coverings are strongly encouraged if you are in close contact with others.
  • Reduce the number of shared surfaces, and regularly disinfect them.
  • Wash your hands.  Wash your hands.  Wash your hands.

IRD releases guidance on cryptoassets

Inland Revenue has updated its guidance on the tax treatment of cryptoassets in New Zealand.  Crypto-assets are also known as cryptocurrencies or virtual currencies. Spokesperson Tony Morris says “essentially, cryptoassets are treated as a form of property for tax purposes.  What people make from selling, trading or exchanging crypto-assets is taxable.

“This updated guidance allows people to work out what tax they need to pay when they sell, trade, swap, lend or mine cryptoasset transactions.  They can find out what records to keep and work out what they need to put in their tax return.”

You can see the new guidance here but please get in touch if you have any questions.

How Much Debt Can Your Business Take On?

DebtDuring an economic downturn when business is slow, a cashflow boost in the form of debt might be necessary to maintain the smooth running of your business.  While there are plenty of lending options to consider including government-backed funding schemes, you shouldn’t borrow what you can’t pay back.

So the question is:  How much debt is too much?

This timely Forbes article teaches how to calculate three important metrics that will keep you honest about how much debt you can take on.  However, if you need personalised advice based on your unique business situation or some help with loan applications, drop us a message.

Government Loan Applications Extended

The government has extended the Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme until the end of the year.  For those who haven’t applied for this government loan yet, you can check your eligibility here or you can get in touch with us so we can assist you with your application.

The Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme allows you to get financial assistance of up to $100,000 and an additional $1800 per equivalent full-time employee.  Repayments are not required for the first two years, but if the loan is paid back within a year, there will be no interest.

Helping Your Team Overcome the Trauma of the Pandemic

TeamWhen COVID-19 hit, we witnessed a significant change in our lives.  While the immediate concerns involve worker safety, disrupted supply chains, and financial losses, the pandemic can also adversely impact our mental health.

Although some people brush off the trauma that the crisis has caused, how you cope can affect your life and your work performance in ways you may not imagine.  This Harvard Business Review article outlines the things business leaders can do to support their team members.

  • Build a culture of connection by intentionally checking in with your team on a regular basis.
  • Offer flexibility and be inclusive.
  • Communicate more than you think you need to.
  • Modify policies and practices to reduce stress for everyone.

The best part about adopting these steps is that they won’t just allow you to help the sanity of your staff during and after this pandemic, it can also make you a more effective leader even without this crisis.  If you need personalised guidance on improving the overall performance of your business as you recover from the impacts of COVID-19, feel free to get in touch.

Avoiding COVID-19 Online Scams

Recently, there has been a significant increase in COVID-19-related online scams that steal your personal data, impersonate authorities, offer fraudulent medical goods and services, and make fake requests for charitable donations.  Below are some tips from Google Safety Center to keep you from falling victim to these scams.

  • Know how scammers may reach you– Aside from emails, they may also use text messages, automated calls, and malicious websites.
  • Check trusted sources directly– Scammers may pose as trusted and authoritative sources.  So directly visit reliable sources instead to get the latest factual information.
  • Be cautious of requests for personal or financial information, pause and evaluate before sharing– Do not provide confidential information such as logins, bank details, and addresses to suspicious or unverified sources.  Donate directly through non-profits.
  • Double-check links and email addresses before clicking– Fake links imitate established websites by adding extra random letters and numbers or words, so be extra careful and check before you click.
  • Search to see if it’s been reported– Copy and paste the email address, phone number, or suspicious portion of the message on your search engine to check if it has already been reported.
  • Add an extra layer of security to your account– Add two-factor authentications to your accounts for extra protection online.

If you encounter phishing pages, you can report it here.  For malicious software, you can report the site here.

Get in touch

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

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