The Government has today announced a wide-ranging business relief package to try and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on the New Zealand economy. The package includes a $500 million boost for health, $8.7 billion in support for businesses and jobs, and $2.8 billion for income support to boost consumer spending.
Destination Rotorua's Chief Executive, Michelle Templer, said: "It’s encouraging to see that the Government’s response has focused on increasing cash flow and confidence and we hope that this will have an immediate impact on many of the local businesses who have been affected by the current operating environment.
"I’ve also asked many in the business community for feedback on these measures and what further responses they’d like to see from the Government as I know there are a variety of complex needs represented in Rotorua.
"These are unprecedented times and our thoughts are with local businesses as we navigate these challenges together as a community."
Key points for businesses:
- * Wage subsidies of $585/wk are available for full time employees, paid in a lump sum covering 12 weeks, capped at $150,000 per employer.
* COVID-19 leave payment scheme will provide subsidies (equal to the wage subsidies) for a maximum of eight weeks for people unable to work because they are in self-isolation, are sick with COVID-19 or caring for dependents who are in either of these situations.
- * Tax changes made in the areas of provisional tax thresholds, depreciation deductions, late payment penalties, and expensing of low value assets (only apply to 20/21 tax year).
- * $100 million has been allocated to support worker redeployment.
The wage subsidy scheme stands out as the most immediate and material support for businesses in the short term. Eligibility for this is dependent on:
- * Businesses (all sectors and all regions) must show a minimum 30 per cent decline in revenue for any month between January and June 2020 compared to the year before (including projected revenue).
- * Businesses must sign declarations confirming 1) they will, on their best endeavours, continue to employ affected employees at a minimum of 80% of their income for the duration of the subsidy period, and 2) they have taken active steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 e.g. engaged with their bank/financial advisor/business advice professional.
Our immediate recommendations for affected local businesses are:
- * Go to the online portal to apply for wage subsidy assistance. Applications are open from today, at www.workandincome.govt.nz.
- * Engage with your bank/financial advisor/business advice professional to ensure you’re fully aware of all the other financial options to help mitigate the impact.
- * Contact Rotorua Economic Development to discuss other options that can be tailored to your specific circumstances at email@example.com