Financial support for businesses

Financial support schemes to help businesses and their employees in times of difficulty, to recover from the effects of COVID-19.

COVID-19 financial support tool

You can use the COVID-19 financial support tool to find out what financial help may be available to you.

The tool will take you, step by step, through a series of questions to understand your personal circumstances such as:

  • your work status, for example, employer
  • your situation, for example your business is unable to operate
  • if your workplace has reduced business and revenue.

The tool will then tell you what financial help and support you can access, and where you can apply or find more information.

Use the COVID-19 financial support tool

Wage Subsidy and Leave schemes

COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme provides a payment to businesses to pay their workers who need to take leave due to COVID-19 public health guidance. 

Businesses do not need to:

  • show an actual or predicted revenue drop, or
  • show their ability to support an employee was negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Information about the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme and how to apply (external link)

Resurgence Wage Subsidy

A 2 week COVID-19 Resurgence Wage Subsidy payment was available for employers, including self-employed people, who were financially impacted by the resurgence of COVID-19 and changes to COVID-19 Alert Levels. It supported employers to continue to pay employees.

You can no longer apply for the Resurgence Wage Subsidy.

Wage Subsidy Extension

The Wage Subsidy Extension payment was available to support workers, including sole traders, who were still significantly impacted by COVID-19 after the Wage Subsidy ended.

You can no longer apply for the Wage Subsidy Extension.

Wage Subsidy Scheme

The Wage Subsidy Scheme helped employers recover from the effects of COVID-19. It helped employers to keep their staff employed and ensured an income for affected employees for up to 12 weeks.

You can no longer apply for the Wage Subsidy Scheme.

Business Finance Guarantee scheme

Small and medium-sized businesses may be eligible for the Business Finance Guarantee scheme. The scheme helps businesses access credit to support operating cashflow disrupted by COVID-19.

Participating banks can provide to eligible businesses:

  • new loans
  • increased limits to existing loans
  • revolving credit facilities.

Recent changes to the scheme mean:

  • credit is now available for general purpose borrowing, including capital purchases or projects related to COVID-19
  • the revenue limits have been extended from $80 million to $200 million per annum
  • the loan limit has increased from $500,000 to $5 million
  • the loan term has increased from 3 to 5 years.

The scheme supports banks to take on lending by the Government taking on the default risk of up to 80% of the loan.

No personal guarantee is required. Lending decisions are made by banks. Borrowers must still pay the loan back — with interest — as they would normally.

Information about the Business Finance Guarantee scheme from the Treasury (external link)

Business cash flow and tax measures

Inland Revenue has information on a range of measures to help businesses as they recover. These include:

  • greater flexibility for taxpayers in respect of statutory tax deadlines
  • changes to the tax loss continuity rules
  • a tax loss carry-back scheme
  • measures to support commercial tenants and landlords
  • further business consultancy support.

Business cash flow and tax relief measures (external link)

Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme

Inland Revenue will provide interest-free loans for a year to small businesses as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19. 

The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme will provide assistance of up to $100,000 to firms employing 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.

Loans will be interest-free if they’re paid back within a year. The interest rate will be 3% for a maximum term of 5 years. Repayments are not required for the first 2 years.

Apply for the Small Business Cash Flow Loan (external link)

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. 

Company directors facing significant liquidity problems can also seek a safe harbour from sections 135 and 136 of the Companies Act 1993.

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.

More information about insolvency relief for businesses (external link)

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.

Apprenticeship Boost Initiative (external link)

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