Wage Subsidy and Leave Schemes
The Wage Subsidy Scheme supports employers adversely affected by COVID-19. The scheme helps employers and their staff to maintain an employment connection and ensure an income for affected employees, even if the employee is unable to actually work any hours. It is also available to sole traders and contractors.
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.
Business Finance Guarantee Scheme
Small and medium-sized businesses may be eligible for the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme to protect jobs and support the economy. The Crown in partnership with participating approved banks will support targeted new loans including increases to existing limits to eligible businesses, as a response to difficulties caused by COVID-19.
Business cash flow and tax measures
The government has implemented measures to support business cash flow and tax measures.
Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme
Inland Revenue will provide interest-free loans for a year to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 economic shock.
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.
Insolvency relief for businesses
The Government has changed the Companies Act to help businesses facing insolvency due to COVID-19.
This includes a COVID-19 Business Debt Hibernation regime that allows businesses to place their existing debts on hold for up to 7 months to help them start trading normally again. Other measures include a safe harbour from sections 135 and 136 of the Companies Act 1993, and other corporate governance changes (terms and obligations will apply).
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.
Support for Māori communities and businesses
Māori communities and businesses can access help tailored to meet the specific needs of Māori in the face of COVID-19. These include:
- a Whānau Māori Community and Mārae package reprioritising $10 million from the Māori Development vote to support community outreach
- Māori Health and Whānau Ora response with $30 million targeted directly to Māori Health services and an extra $15 million to Whānau Ora commissioning agencies
- supporting Māori Businesses and engaging with Māori with $1 million of funding to enable a needs assessment for Māori businesses, and $470,000 to Te Arawhiti to engage and work with iwi on their COVID-19 pandemic response plans.
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 find out your personal circumstances:
- Your work status, for example, employer.
- Your situation, for example, business is unable to operate.
- Whether your workplace has reduced business.
The tool will then tell you what financial help and support you could access, and where you can apply or find more information.