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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: 30 March

 

Where do I start?

If you are concerned about the impact COVID-19 is having on your business, and you 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 cashflow and what financial hardship measures can be put in place.

You should also apply for the wage subsidy scheme as soon as possible. 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 cashflow and a business financing guarantee in partnership with the banks.

Further details about the business financing guarantee scheme are expected in the coming days.

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 now that we have moved to an Alert Level 4 shut down. 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.

The subsidy is $585.80 per week for a full time employee (20 hrs or more) or $350.00 per week for a part time employee (less than 20 hrs). This means employers will receive a payment of $7,029.60 for a full time employee and $4,200 for a part time employee.

The payment will be made as a lump sum for a period covering 12 weeks. If you choose to access the scheme you must make best endeavours to pay your employees 80% of their usual, pre-COVID-19 income, or at least the whole value of the wage subsidy to each affected worker. If a person’s income is normally less than the subsidy they can be paid their normal salary instead, but any difference leftover must be used for the wages of other affected staff members.

There is no maximum for the amount of assistance a business can receive. This is to enable more support for workers in medium and large sized businesses.

Important: Applications for the scheme will be open for the duration of COVID-19 Alert Level 4. You can make multiple applications, but you can only apply for the same employee once. You must undertake to keep employees in employment for the period of the subsidy.

Leave payment

As of 27 March, the leave payment for employees who are in self-isolation is no longer available.

Apply for a wage subsidy 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
  • removing the hours test from the In-Work Tax Credit (IWTC) from 1 July 2020.

Learn more about tax relief measures for businesses here.

Business Finance Guarantee Scheme

The specific details of this initiative are still being finalised, but here is what we know to date:

  • The scheme will 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 will be eligible.
  • The scheme will include a limit of $500,000 per loan
  • The loans will be for a maximum of three years
  • The loans will be provided at competitive, transparent rates.

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What are 'Essential Businesses'?

As of 11.59 pm on Wednesday 25 March, we will move from COVID-19 Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 4.

This means New Zealanders not working in essential services must stay at home and stop all interactions with others outside of their household.

Businesses including bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms, cinemas, pools, museums, libraries, playgrounds and any other place where the public congregate must close. Food takeaway services must move to close their operations.

Businesses that supply necessities including food, medicine, healthcare, energy, fuel, waste-removal, internet and financial support will continue to be available, as well as entities in their supply chains.

Retailers defined as essential services:

• Supermarkets
• Pharmacies
• Vet clinics*
• Pet shops and pet services*
• Dairies (with a one-in, one-out rule) - guidelines for dairies available here.
• Self-service laundries (two metre physical distancing rules apply)
• Stores supplying the building/ construction sector (but only for trade customers for essential purposes)
• Uncooked food delivery services (subject to conditions)

* Special registration requirements apply.

See the full list of essential businesses here.

Can I sell online?

Currently, only essential services are able to continue selling goods online. The government is considering whether non-essential retailers should be allowed to sell online too, but in the meantime, couriers are under instruction to only deliver goods from essential services. 

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Payments continuity support 

Just like you, we're navigating the same challenges and impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to businesses across New Zealand. At the heart of our response is ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our team, while maintaining our service delivery to our customers.

We have an established business continuity plan, which includes specific action we will take in the event of a pandemic. As the government response to COVID-19 in New Zealand began to escalate, we took action to transition our teams to working remotely, so that we could continue to support our customers in the event of a lockdown. From 25 March, our customer service team and technical support helpdesk are both working 100% remotely.

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 Business Banking, contact your Business Banking Manager, or call the ANZ Contact Centre on 0800 269 249.
  • For Commercial and Agri customers, contact your Relationship Manager or call 0800 212 269.
  • For Institutional Banking, contact your ANZ Account Manager.

ASB

BNZ

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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Useful links

 


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.