COVID-19 Business Update – 26 June 2020
Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for this week’s update.
New Zealand Tightens Border Controls
As of 24 June, there were 11 active COVID-19 cases in New Zealand as more people are arriving from overseas.
Strict border controls are being implemented and people entering New Zealand are required to stay in managed isolation or quarantine for at least 14 days and test negative for the coronavirus before they can go into the community.
Recent developments and the increase in cases shows that even at Alert Level 1 we all still need to be very diligent.
If your business has been hit by the pandemic and you’re looking at ways to adapt, get in touch with us. We’ll help you take stock of where your business is at and identify areas to improve.
Government Loan Applications Extended
The government is providing one-off loans to small businesses, including sole traders and the self-employed, which have been affected by COVID-19 to support their cashflow needs.
Through the Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme, you can get financial assistance of up to $100,000. Repayments are not required for the first two years, but if the loan is paid back within a year, there will be no interest.
For those who haven’t applied for this government loan yet, applications have been extended until 24 July 2020. You can check your eligibility here or you can get in touch with us so we can assist you with your application.
Wage Subsidy Extension
The application for the Wage Subsidy Extension opened this month and will be available until 1 September 2020. This initiative is aimed at supporting employers, including self-employed, who have been significantly hit by COVID-19. Under this scheme, the wages of your employees will be covered over an 8-week period.
To be eligible for this financial support, your business must have had at least a 40% revenue loss for a continuous 30-day period in the last 40 days before the application. Eligible employers must also reapply for the Wage Subsidy Extension once their 12-week Wage Subsidy has ended. You can read through the guidelines and apply online here. If you have any questions about this government program, contact us today and we’ll talk you through it.
Is now a good time to hire new staff?
Unfortunately, many companies have had to lay off staff and downsize because of COVID-19. That means there is actually a window of opportunity for businesses looking to hire. There is a wealth of exceptional talent out there now that might normally be snapped up. It might not be this way for long so it could be the perfect time to hire.
You need to do what’s best for you and your business and we’re happy to chat to help you make the best choice.
Here are some ways to make the most of a growing talent pool according to an article by the Harvard Business Review:
- Ask your top leaders to list three to five great players they would have liked to have hired over the past five years and then check in with those people.
- Set up a task force to source potential candidates from target sectors and companies who may now be either jobless or open to change.
- Interview and check references remotely with the same rigour you would in person.
- Go out of your way to motivate the best candidates.
- Don’t ignore the sourcing, retaining, and development of in-house talent.
Everyone is encouraged to keep track of who you’ve seen and where you’ve been through the NZ COVID Tracer app in order to assist with contact tracing if necessary. You can help customers in maintaining their “digital diary” by displaying a QR code poster.
Get your QR code Poster
The Ministry of Health has an online form to help you create your QR code poster online to support contract tracing with the NZ COVID Tracer app. You can find the details here.
We will keep you posted if anything changes with government and financial support options, but please get in touch if you have any questions.
Get in touch
Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.