Advice-and-resources_COVID-19-HERO

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted many businesses around New Zealand. As well as continuing to support your payments needs, we have also pulled together some information and resources to provide guidance at this challenging time.

Last updated: 12 May

 

COVID-19 Advice: Where do I start?

If you are concerned about the impact COVID-19 is having on your business, and are worried you won't be able to pay your rent, suppliers or staff, the recommendation is to start communicating early.

As a first step, get in touch with the IRD and your bank to see what you can do to free up cash flow and what financial hardship measures can be put in place.

Communicate with your staff regularly so they understand what your plans are around business continuity and wages.

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Financial support for businesses

The Government announced an Economic Response package on Tuesday March 17, which was expanded following the announcement the country was entering COVID-19 Alert Level 4.

The package includes a wage subsidy, tax relief for businesses to help free up cash flow and a business financing guarantee in partnership with the Reserve bank and retail banks.

Use the COVID-19 Financial Support Tool to find out what support you could access.

Wage subsidy

Wage subsidies are available for all employers that are significantly impacted by COVID-19. The aim of the scheme is to keep people in employment and receiving income. There are some eligibility criteria, including being able to show a 30% revenue drop attributable to COVID-19. Learn more on the Work and Income website.

Leave payment

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme (used to be 'COVID-19 Essential Workers Leave Support') is available for employers, including sole traders, to pay their employees who can't work.

This means your employees that:

  • can't come into work because Ministry of Health guidelines recommend they stay at home, and;
  • can't work from home.

You can't apply for both the wage subsidy and the leave support scheme for the same employee. 

Learn more about the Leave Support Scheme here.

Tax relief

The Business cash flow and tax measures include:

  • Increasing the provisional tax threshold from $2,500 to $5,000 from 2020/2021.
  • Increasing the small asset depreciation threshold from $500 to $1,000 — and to $5,000 for the 2020/21 tax year.
  • Allowing depreciation on commercial and industrial buildings from 2020/2021.
  • Refundability of the R&D tax credit has been brought forward to the 2019/20 tax year.
  • Businesses expecting to make a loss in either the 2020 year or the 2021 year can use that loss to offset profits they made the year before.
  • Changes to GST to support businesses where supplies are cancelled or there is change of use of an asset.

Learn more about tax relief measures for businesses here.

Business Finance Guarantee Scheme

The Government, in partnership with approved retail banks and the Reserve Bank, has announced a business finance guarantee scheme for small and medium-sized businesses. 
  • The scheme leverage the Crown's financial strength to enable banks to make credit available to solvent small and medium-sized businesses experiencing financial distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Businesses with turnover of between $250,000 and $80 million per annum are eligible.
  • The scheme includes a limit of $500,000 per loan
  • The loans are for a maximum of three years
  • The loans must be provided at competitive, transparent rates.
  • The loan is intended to assist with operating costs, for example rent and staff expenses. There are some restrictions on what the loan can be used to fund.
  • Some activities are excluded from the scheme including property investment.
  • Businesses can apply for the scheme via their bank.

More information about the Business Finance Guarantee scheme is available here.

Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme

Inland Revenue will provide loans of up to $100,000 to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Loans will be interest-free if they are paid back within 12 months.

If the loan is not paid back within 12 months, the loan will incur interest of 3% for a maximum term of five years, but repayments are not required for the first two years.

Businesses that employ 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, sole traders and self-employed businesses are eligible to apply.

Applications are open from 12 May until 12 June 2020 and are managed by Inland Revenue via their myIR tool. Go to the 'I want to' section, and select 'Apply for the small business loan'.

More information is available here.

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What are 'Essential Businesses'?

Essential businesses are those that supply necessities including food, medicine, healthcare, energy, fuel, waste-removal, internet and financial support, as well as entities in their supply chains.

Businesses or goods defined as essential services:

  • Accommodation and housing including Air Bnb, backpackers, campgrounds some property management services.
  • Courier services should only be used for essential goods.
  • Essential non-food consumer products for example, blankets, heaters, kitchenware and appliances, whiteware, computer equipment and mobile phones.
  • Maintenance and safety including waste removal, locksmiths, pest management, road safety equipment, security, and tradespeople.
  • Pets and animal welfare including veterinary and animal welfare services. 
  • Food delivery, other than cooked prepared meals such as takeaways is allowed. Alcohol can be sold at supermarkets and Licensing Trust stores, as well as online.
  • Supermarkets and dairies.
  • Click and collect services for consumers - but only by supermarkets.
  • Transport including taxi and ride-share drivers.
  • Self-service laundries.
  • Plant nurseries which supply primary industries.
  • Telecommunications - sales, installation and repair of connectivity devices.

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Operating at Alert Level 2

At COVID-19 Alert Level 2, businesses are able to operate and have customers on their premises, if they can meet public health requirements

Bars, cafes, retailers, butchers and bakeries are all able to open their doors to customers, as long as they:

  • have a contact tracing system in place to record everyone who you interact with on your premises;
  • maintain physical distancing of 1 metre between groups of customers, and;
  • hospitality businesses should keep groups seated, separated, and use a single server if possible.
Businesses where workers must maintain close personal contact with clients to deliver a service, for example hairdressers and nail technicians, can operate if they:
  • have a robust contact tracing system in place;
  • maintain good hygiene practices;
  • and minimise physical contact to the greatest extent possible.

See our guide to contactless payment methods for ideas on how to adapt your payment solution to reduce physical contact, in line with public health requirements. 

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Payments continuity support 

Payments are a vital part of any business. To ensure the continuity of your payment services, we will not be terminating services for customers experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are also waiving late payment fees incurred after 23 March 2020 until further notice.

Should you need help with your account or technical support for your EFTPOS solution you can contact our teams throughout the lockdown and beyond, using the following contact details:

Eftpos NZ Customer Service is available 8 am - 5 pm, Monday-Friday:

Eftpos NZ Technical Support is available 24/7:

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Support available from your bank

It's important that you contact your bank early if you are concerned about your business's finances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

ANZ

  • Support options for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • For merchant enquiries, such as enabling contactless 'paywave', call 0800 473 453.
  • For Business Banking enquiries call 0800 269 249.
  • Commercial and Agri customers, contact your Relationship Manager or call 0800 212 269.
  • For Institutional Banking, contact your ANZ Account Manager.

ASB

  • Support options for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • For merchant enquiries, such as enabling contactless 'paywave', call 0800 272 555
  • For Business Banking enquiries call 0800 272 222 (or +64 9 306 3000 if calling from overseas).
  • If you’re a Commercial or Rural Banking customer, please contact your relationship manager.

BNZ

  • Support options for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • For merchant enquiries, such as enabling contactless 'paywave', call 0800 737 774
  • For Business Banking  - small businesses call 0800 269 763, medium to large businesses, contact your Business Banking Partner, or call 0800 273 916 to make an appointment.
  • For Agri customers, contact your Agribusiness specialist or call 0800 273 916.

Kiwibank

Westpac

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Managing staff during the COVID-19 pandemic

Many employers are navigating new challenges when it comes to managing staff as the COVID-19 situation continues to rapidly evolve. Work Safe, Work and Income, Employment New Zealand have prepared guidance on how to deal with some scenarios that may arise in your business. 

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Resources

Download helpful guides, posters and other resources for your business in the resources section of our website.

 

Useful links


Need help?

If you’re exploring adapting your business in response to COVID-19, we can help. Our team of EFTPOS experts are working remotely and are available to discuss your payment needs:

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Our 24/7 technical helpdesk and customer services team are also working remotely. Here’s how to contact them:

Eftpos NZ Technical Support is available 24/7:

• Call 0800 EFTPOS (0800 338 767, option 2)
• Submit a support form.

Eftpos NZ Customer Service is available 8 am - 5 pm, Monday - Friday:

 

Disclaimer

The information in this article is intended for guidance only. Accordingly, EFTPOS New Zealand Limited does not accept any liability for any loss or damage, which may directly or indirectly result from any advice, opinion, information, representation or omission, whether negligent or otherwise, contained on this site. While every endeavour has been made to supply accurate information, errors and omissions may occur. Click here for our full terms of use.

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