COVID-19 Business Update – 3 February 2021

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

New Zealand Approves First COVID-19 Vaccine

New Zealand’s medicines regulator, Medsafe, has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for domestic use once it arrives in the country.

The mass vaccination program was planned to start in the third quarter, but the government is anticipating having some doses earlier in order to vaccinate border workers and other front-line staff.

New Zealand Q4 Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.9%

New Zealand’s jobless rate dropped to 4.9% in the December 2020 quarter from 5.3% in the previous quarter, beating analysts forecast of 5.6%. New Zealand’s efficient response to the pandemic has prevented the high number of infections and deaths seen in many other nations, and allowed the economy to return to pre-pandemic normalcy quickly.

International Investors See New Zealand As Safe Haven

As New Zealand ranks first in Lowy Institute’s COVID Performance Index of almost 100 countries for successfully handling the pandemic, a separate annual report from the law firm, MinterEllisonRuddWatts, shows New Zealand was seen as a haven for international investors during the COVID-19 crisis. It is also expected that returning Kiwis would continue to drive a mini-boom in small business sales, which is good news for the country’s economic recovery.

Business Finance Guarantee Scheme Open Until June

Business Finance Guarantee loans can help small and medium businesses access credit for cashflow, capital assets and projects related to, responding to or recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.

All New Zealand registered banks and non-bank deposit takers (non-banks) are eligible to apply to join the scheme. Current participants are:

  • Banks: ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Heartland Bank, Kiwibank, TSB, Bank of China and Westpac.
  • Non-banks: Nelson Building Society.

Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to access credit from either a participating bank or a non-bank, but not both.

If you borrow from a bank, it will determine the amount you can borrow and the length of the term up to a maximum of $5 million payable in five years. Meanwhile, if you borrow from a non-bank, the maximum amount is $3 million payable in five years. More information on eligibility criteria and how it works can be found here.

Applications for Business Finance Guarantee loans are open until 30 June 2021. If you need assistance or have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.

Small Business Cashflow Scheme Extended Until 2023

The Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme has been extended until 31 December 2023.

Organisations and small to medium businesses, including sole traders and the self-employed, may be eligible for a one-off loan with a term of 5 years if they have been adversely affected by COVID-19.

The maximum amount loaned is $10,000 plus $1,800 per full-time-equivalent employee. The annual interest rate will be 3% beginning from the date of the loan being provided. Interest will not be charged if the loan is fully paid back within 2 years.

You can find out more here, or simply get in touch with us so we can provide our professional assistance.

Kiwi Business Boost Tool

The Government has funded specialist consultancy support services to provide advice to businesses who need it. You can use the Kiwi Business Boost Tool to find out what services are available in your region.

The Treasury website’s COVID-19 Economic Response Measures can also provide more information on the range of supports available to businesses.

3 Ways Busy Entrepreneurs Can Save Time

As a small business ourselves, we understand how hectic your day-to-day operations can get. Given there will never be more than 24 hours in a day, we’ll share some effective tips to help you accomplish more and save time to do the things you love.

Delegate
As a business leader, one of the key skills you need to learn is delegation. Small business owners tend to think that no one can do the job as well as they can.

However, wearing too many hats may mean something important could fall through the cracks. So learn which ones to delegate based on your employees’ skills and focus on the core aspects of your business.

Use the power of technology

In the modern business landscape, cloud-based systems and apps are your bestfriends. When used properly, they can simplify and streamline processes, helping you get the job done with ease. Research on the best tools that can automate repetitive tasks and have more time in your hands.

Outsource
Outsourcing is a more cost-effective approach to expanding your team compared to hiring an in-house staff. When you outsource non-core yet essential tasks, you’re allowing yourself to focus on what you do best, like growing your business.

If you want to learn more about how our advisors can help ease your burden, get in touch with us today!

Get in touch

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