Financial support plan for businesses if there’s a COVID-19 resurgence

The Government is putting in place support for affected businesses in case there is a resurgence of COVID-19.

The Government is providing certainty to businesses and workers about what support will be available in the event of a resurgence of COVID-19.

Resurgence support payment

This includes a new Resurgence Support Payment to help businesses directly affected when there’s a move to Alert Level 2 or above for a week or more. This will help sectors like hospitality and events, who face particular disruptions as Alert Levels change.

This recognises that some businesses face one-off costs or impacts to cashflow when we step up an Alert Level to follow public health advice. The payment is structured to provide most support to smaller firms who are most likely to face cashflow issues, but will be available to all businesses and sole traders.

The payment would include a core per business rate of $1,500 plus $400 per employee up to a total of 50 FTEs ($21,500). Firms that experience a 30% drop in revenue over a 14-day period will be eligible.

Wage subsidy scheme

The Wage Subsidy Scheme has been very effective in keeping people in work so far with more than $14 billion paid out to protect 1.8 million jobs. It will continue to be available at Alert Levels 3 and 4. 

Cabinet has also asked the Minister of Justice to revisit options on future commercial tenancy negotiation support — this will be discussed by Cabinet early next year.

Leave support scheme

The Leave Support Scheme will remain in place and include a new short-term absence payment to cover eligible workers who need to stay at home for 1 to 3 days while awaiting a COVID-19 test result. This will be a one-off payment of $350 to employers, available in early 2021.

Other support schemes

Other support retained includes the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme, which is being extended to June 2021 with additional availability and flexibility, and Small Business Cashflow Scheme, which has also recently been extended.