COVID-19 Business Update – 16 December 2020

Hello again – welcome to the latest edition of our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas that will help us all move forward.

NZ Economy Shows Faster Recovery from COVID-19 Impact

New Zealand is expected to bounce back sooner from the impact of COVID-19 than previously thought, but large deficits and rising debt levels will have a lasting effect on the economy.

The country’s Treasury department predicted the budget deficit for the 2020/21 fiscal year to be $21.58 billion, $10.1 billion smaller than forecasts made in September.

According to the half-year economic and fiscal update, the GDP is expected to bounce back from its sharpest contraction on record in the second quarter to grow 10.5% in the September quarter, followed by further growth of 2.2% in the December quarter.

New COVID-19 Resurgence Business Support Scheme

A new Resurgence Support Payment will be available to businesses if New Zealand has to move to Alert Level 2 or above for a week or more. This assistance scheme is designed to support sectors like hospitality and events, which face significant disruptions as alert levels change.

It would include a core per-business rate of $1500 plus $400 per employee up to a total of 50 full-time employees, or $21,500. Firms that experienced a 30 percent drop in revenue over a 14-day period would be eligible.

A new Short-term Absence Payment will also cover eligible workers needing to stay at home while awaiting a COVID-19 test result. This will be a one-off payment of $350 to employers to pay such employees.

Research: Māori Horticulture Sector Grows 300% in 12 Years

Māori horticulture is booming, having grown 300% in the last 12 years and set to continue its trajectory, according to a new report from economic consultancy Berl, commissioned by Te Puni Kōkiri, the Ministry of Primary Industries, and Horticulture New Zealand.

The new research shows that the estimated gross output of Māori horticulture in New Zealand is $220 million per year. It is estimated that 3800 Māori work directly in the horticulture sector, representing around 28% of the workforce in horticulture.

New $40 Million COVID-19 Fund Opens

Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs has announced that a new lottery fund has opened. The fund will provide one-off grants for community and social initiatives that will ensure that iwi, hapū and communities across New Zealand are safe and resilient following COVID-19.

More details about applying for funding can be found on the Community Matters website. If you need help in assessing your eligibility or considering other funding options available to you, feel free to contact us.

Boost Holiday Sales Amid the Pandemic

2020 has been an unprecedented year for businesses. Retailers are among the most hardly hit by the COVID-19 crisis, and many are still struggling to bounce back despite the easing of social restrictions and lockdowns.

So here are some tips on how to boost sales this holiday season amid the pandemic:

  • Offer limited contact shopping options– Many are still hesitant about the idea of shopping in-store due to fears of being infected. With this, it is important to offer limited contact options such as drive-up, where customers can choose items online and park at designated areas outside your store to pick up their purchased items.
  • Increase your digital efforts– Online shopping has increasingly become the preferred platform during the pandemic. So ensure you have strong digital presence by updating or launching your website and creating engaging social media content to attract more customers.
  • Prioritise sanitation– Make sanitation a priority to create a safer shopping experience and encourage people to shop in your store.
  • Offer different shipping options– Be versatile enough to offer different shipping options, including free shipping promos and express shipping for last-minute shoppers.

We hope these tips can help you enjoy a profitable holiday season! Get in touch with us for more personalised business tips.

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Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.