COVID-19 Business Update – 3 July 2020
Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for this week’s update.
New Zealand Tightens Border Controls
At the time of writing this, there are 18 active COVID-19 cases in New Zealand, which is up from 11 from last week.
Last week, stricter border controls were introduced, including a mandatory 14-day quarantine and COVID-19 tests for those entering the country. As more Kiwis return home, NZ’s managed isolation and quarantine facilities have been under “extreme stress” after a review was ordered by the Prime Minister.
Currently, New Zealand’s borders are closed to almost all travellers but employers can request to bring ‘critical workers’ into NZ if they are eligible. If you need to request approval for your employees, you can find more details here.
If your business has been hit by the pandemic and you’re looking for 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.
Manage the COVID-19 Impact and Plan for Recovery
The Regional Business Partner Network gives business owners access to advice and resources on business continuity planning, finance and cashflow management, HR issues, and sector-specific concerns amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Growth During a Recession
The battle against COVID-19 has no doubt had an impact on global financial markets. As a result, consumers are tightening their belts, and general demand is falling. These signs indicate that the next economic downturn may just be right around the corner.
Throughout history, we have seen that recessions can be brutal especially for small businesses. However, it is possible to grow a stronger business during a recession, and we’re here to help. In this Harvard Business Review article, they list four steps to capitalise on the problems encountered by your rivals during tough economic conditions. These are:
- Invest heavily in research and development.
- Spend some time learning about the customers of your weakest competitors.
- Identify your most critical suppliers and distributors.
- Think carefully about your talent needs – now could be a good time to hire!.
If you want to talk about your specific situation, please get in touch with us and we’ll help you work out a strategic plan to build a successful future-proof business.
Government Loan Applications Extended
The government is providing one-off loans to small businesses employing 50 or fewer full-time employees, sole traders, and self-employed individuals, 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 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.
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 Still Open
Applications for the Wage Subsidy Extension are open until 1 September 2020. This initiative is aimed at supporting employers, including the 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.
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
Businesses can get their official NZ COVID Tracer QR code posters through the new self-service webform to support contact tracing with the NZ COVID Tracer app. A valid New Zealand driver’s licence is required to use this service. However, if you have a huge number of locations or do not have a driver’s licence, you can email a completed template to the Ministry of Health. More information can be found here.
Get in touch
We will keep you posted if anything changes with government and financial support options, but please get in touch if you have any questions. We are here to help.