From low-interest loans to contact tracing, a summary of government advice and financial support available to small businesses as of mid-December 2020. Sole traders and contractors may be eligible for some types of support.
It’s a good idea to bookmark our main page on COVID-19 financial support. It’s updated each time something changes.
Kiwis will be out and about during summer, so it’s important to do your bit for contact tracing. All businesses must display the official NZ COVID Tracer QR code in a prominent place, or near the main entrance to your business.
Get your QR code poster(external link) — covid19.govt.nz
Businesses can also tap into the government’s new ‘Make Summer Unstoppable’ campaign. It’s aimed at encouraging New Zealanders to keep doing the basics to keep COVID-19 at bay. It includes posters and resources about hand washing, using the contact tracing app, and staying home if feeling sick.
You can download these resources, including summer-themed QR contact tracings posters, for your business:
Make Summer Unstoppable toolkit(external link) — covid19.govt.nz
Changes to the government’s small business cash flow (loan) scheme make it easier for small businesses to access finance to support their cash flow needs. Small businesses, including sole traders and contractors, may be eligible for these low-cost loans.
Already taken out one of these loans? Your loan will automatically be covered by the new terms and conditions.
Small business cash flow loan changes(external link) — Inland Revenue
The maximum amount you can borrow depends on the number of people you employ part time and full time:
Apply through myIR. Go to the 'I want to' section, and select 'Apply for the small business loan'.
myIR(external link) — Inland Revenue
The government’s business debt hibernation scheme has been extended to 31 October 2021. It helps businesses manage their debts and keep operating.
If eligible, your options include paying creditors a percentage of what you owe and delaying the rest. You also get at least a month’s protection from debt enforcement, eg liquidation, or six months protection if your creditors agree.
It’s not available to sole traders. If you’re a sole trader or contractor in need of financial support, see the cash flow loan scheme and tax relief options.
If a health official tells someone in your business to isolate due to COVID-19, they must not come to work. This applies to you and any workers who either:
If this person cannot work from home, you may be eligible for the COVID-19 leave support scheme. The scheme pays a lump sum to businesses and sole traders to cover the cost of taking time off work. It covers two weeks’ leave. You can reapply if needed.
This tool takes you through a series of questions to identify support options tailored for you. Note wage subsidy applications have closed.
COVID-19 financial support tool(external link) — Unite Against COVID-19
Tax relief measures to help businesses and sole traders financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic include:
Invoices for the 2020/21 financial year were sent later than usual to help spread out costs for businesses. For example, 1 July invoices were instead sent in October.
If your financial position makes it hard to pay your levies in full and on time, contact ACC as soon as possible to agree a manageable payment plan. Let ACC know before your due date in order to avoid penalties.
If you are no longer in business, it’s also a good idea to let ACC know.
All New Zealand businesses, including sole traders, can get support and advice on:
Employers can also get specific advice on people challenges, including staffing changes, employee wellness, and meeting your health and safety obligations.
Call the free COVID-19 Business Helpline.
North Island 0800 500 362
South Island 0800 505 096
The Government has announced new COVID-19 support for businesses will be available from February 2021.
The support includes a Short-Term Absence Payment for employers to pay workers who can’t work from home while they’re waiting for a COVID-19 test result and a Resurgence Support Payment if alert levels move to level 2 or higher for a week or more.
Depending on your situation, other options may be suitable. These include: