New six-week COVID-19 Support Payment available to Omicron-affected businesses from March

A new six-week payment will be available to Omicron-affected businesses from March 2022, Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced.

Three fortnightly COVID-19 Support Payments (CSP) will be available with applications opening for the first payment at 8am on 28 February 2022 for the period starting from 16 February 2022

The CSP is a payment to help support viable and ongoing businesses or organisations which have experienced a 40% or more drop in revenue as a result of one or more of the following COVID-19 circumstances:

  • the widespread presence of COVID-19 in the community in New Zealand  
  • the public health legislative measures taken in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the New Zealand community
  • any business circumstances that are, or are reasonably likely to be, a consequence of the circumstances described above.

The COVID-19 circumstances include but are not limited to:

  • businesses not being able to operate to usual levels due to staff having to self-isolate
  • businesses impacted by New Zealand based supply chain disruptions
  • lower retail and recreation movements in a region (for example in a CBD) due to customers working from home or self-isolating.

They do not include circumstances where businesses which are able to operate under the Red setting of the COVID Protection Framework, but have chosen to close temporarily without taking all reasonably practical steps to minimise their revenue losses.

Applicants will not be eligible for the CSP where they:

  • have not taken all reasonable steps to minimise revenue losses
  • are a regulated business or service under the Covid Protection Framework and are not complying with the COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate requirements.
  • are a self-employed individual that has received, has an application pending for, or is going to apply for or receive in future, funding under the Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund: Grant for Self-Employed Individuals administered by Manatū Taonga – Ministry for Culture and Heritage (this only relates to the first CSP and not the second or third CSP).
Grant Robertson Labour Party

A note from the Grant Robertson’s office, clarifying the criteria. 

The test does not require businesses to experience a reduction of 40% prior to the 15th of February compared to a seven day period after that date.

The COVID-19 Support Payment (CSP) is available for eligible businesses that have experienced at least a 40% revenue drop when comparing 7 consecutive days from the forward period beginning 16 February 2022 (“affected revenue period”) with 7 consecutive days from 5 January to 15 February (the “comparator period”).

This approach means businesses will be comparing their revenue now against their revenue prior to the movement of New Zealand to Phase 2 of the Omicron response on 15 February 2022 to determine if they are currently experiencing a 40%+ revenue decline.

This approach is consistent with the calculation of the revenue decline test for the past Resurgence Support Payments. 

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