COVID-19: News & Resources
As the situation with the coronavirus develops, both nationally and internationally, we’re committed to helping keep our business community informed and providing support where possible.
GOVT. INFORMATION HUB
The Government has established a dedicated webpage with information and resources regarding COVID-19. This includes health advice, financial direction, travel restrictions, wage subsidies and leave payments, as well as latest news.
NEWS & UPDATES
COVID SUPPORT TOOL
Find out what financial support you can access from the Government as an employer, employee, sole trader or small business owner.
WAGE SUBSIDY & LEAVE PAYMENT
Work and Income are facilitating applications for wage subsidy and leave payments, as part of the COVID-19 Financial Package.
An additional Wage Subsidy Extension has been added from June 10 2020 through to September, to help businesses (including sole traders) further. There are new criteria to meet and even if you applied for the initial wage subsidy, you will need to apply again.
The Government has implemented a tool for employees to have transparency around businesses / employers who have applied for and received the wage subsidy.
INCOME RELIEF PAYMENT
If you have lost your job (including self-employment) from 1 March 2020 to 30 October 2020 due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for the COVID-19 Income Relief Payment. It’s available from 8 June 2020 and you can get up to 12 weeks of payments, to help with living costs after a sudden job loss, and give you time to find other work.
NEW TAX SUPPORT
This includes greater flexibility for taxpayers in respect to tax deadlines, changes to the tax loss continuity rules and a tax loss carry-back scheme.
COMMERCIAL LEASES & MORTGAGES
Government is working to put in place some temporary law changes to support commercial tenants and landlords impacted by COVID-19. These changes aim to make it easier to retain lease arrangements and get back to business as usual.
BUSINESS FINANCE GUARANTEE SCHEME
Under the scheme, businesses with annual revenue between $250,000 and $80 million can apply to their banks for loans up to $500,000, for up to three years. The scheme will offer a total of $6.25 billion in loans to New Zealand businesses.
The Government is guaranteeing 80% of the risk, while the banks are covering the remaining 20%. A normal lending process will be followed by the banks, which will make the lending decisions.
For more information about this scheme and how to apply, see this page on COVID-19 business finance support and mortgage holidays.
If you need up-to-date information around the coronavirus and how it may impact on your business, Business.govt.nz is providing comprehensive updates as they become available on a number of issues, including employee best practice / health and safety, tax and the impact on exports and imports.
Having a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) will help you prepare for disruptions to your business caused by the impact of COVID-19. Here’s a great step-by-step guide to help you put plans in place. Click here to visit the website.
EMPLOYMENT & PEOPLE MANAGEMENT
Employment New Zealand provides detailed information about employment during and after disasters and workplace response to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).
EMA has set up a COVID-19 specific website to help answer any employment queries or issues you may have, and also provides advice around imports and exports. They have a dedicated AdviceLine which can put you in touch with their Employment Relations or Human Resource. Call 0800 300 362.
As well as your physical wellbeing, your mental health may be adversely affected by the impact of the COVID-19. The Mental Health Foundation has put together a comprehensive guide to help cope with the challenges and uncertainty that comes from COVID-19.
Sir John Kirwin and a team of experts have created Mentemia, a app to help you create a mental health plan. It is packed with evidence-based ideas and tools to help you learn how to be well, and stay well. It helps you deal with the most common stressors we experience in the modern connected world today – poor sleep, anxiety and stress. These stressors, if left unattended, can significantly impact your quality of life at home and work. This is proudly supported by Westpac, one of our Alliance Partners.
TRAVEL & TOURISM
Regionally, Tourism Bay of Plenty have established a dedicated webpage for the operators to gain the industry-specific support they need.
COMMUNITY GROUPS & NOT-FOR-PROFITS
Information for registered charities can be found HERE.
Social Link is keeping community organisations and NFPs up-to-date with information relevant to their sector. You can find this HERE.
Socialink also has an organisational advisor, Ciska Vogelzang, to provide advice and support for NFPs affected by COVID-19. You can contact Ciska by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Government has also established a grant for essential community groups, to support their efforts on the ground. You can find out more HERE.
SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
SocialLink has created a comprehensive directory of social and health services, to provide guidance and support through these difficult times.
You can access this directory HERE.
Chamber member The Shine Collective has put together a top five list of communication tips (both internal and external) to help businesses provide clear, concise information to their stakeholders. You can access this here.
They have also created a basic Communications Plan template for Pandemic Planning. This can be accessed here.
If you are struggling to manage debts, you can find information on insolvency here.
ADVICE & SUPPORT
We’re connecting with our providers to share with us their expertise on how to deal with a variety of difficult situations – from employment and HR, to communication and strategic development.