Weekly Digest – 6 April 2022
Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.
Government Finances Remains Resilient
The government’s finances have stood up better than expected amid the increase in COVID-19 cases, but the government is warning the Omicron impact is yet to be felt. Official figures show a deficit of $8.3 billion for the eight months ended February, $4.4 billion less than forecast in December’s half-year economic update. Expenses were also $1.4 billion below budget with less spent on COVID support payments and lower overall government spending.
Corporate Travel: Business Trips from NZ are Coming Back
Kiwi business travellers are dipping their feet in international trips, according to Keeley Alton, general manager of Corporate Traveller. International volumes were around 20% to 30% of pre-pandemic levels but there were signs of strong recovery.
Government Pledges Support for Drought in Otago, Southland
The government has announced support for Southern farmers and growers as they deal with the impacts of the current drought. It will unlock up to $100,000 in government funding until October 2022.
First Tranche of Funding from the Three Waters Reform Package
Councils can now apply for the first tranche of funding from the Three Waters Reform Package to invest in their local communities. The first tranche of $500 million of funding will be available from 1 July 2022. Any unallocated money will be rolled into the next tranche, which becomes available on 1 July 2024.
New Declaration Form for Travellers
From 31 March 2022, all air passengers to NZ are required to complete a new traveller declaration form which produces a “Traveller Pass” letting them know what they need to do to enter the country. The New Zealand Traveller Declaration replaces the Ministry of Health declaration system.
COVID Support Payment
A targeted COVID Support Payment (CSP) will be made available for businesses struggling with revenue during the Omicron outbreak. Each COVID Support Payment will be $4,000 per business plus $400 per full-time employee, capped at 50 FTEs or $24,000.
Digital Invoicing Initiative Launched
Starting 31 March 2022, central government agencies must be able to receive invoices in an electronic format. This marks the first step in making Business to Government (B2G) e-Invoicing mandatory in New Zealand. The government estimates savings of $4.4 billion over 10 years using the electronic system.
Government Extends Events Transition Support Scheme
The government has extended its insurance scheme to give large-scale events financial certainty for another year. Originally due to run until 3 April, the Events Transition Support Scheme will now last until January 2023.
Change in Leave Support Scheme
The Leave Support Scheme is now a weekly payment, instead of a two-week payment amid the change in the periods of self-isolation.
This scheme is available to employers and the self-employed to help pay their employees who have been advised to self-isolate because of COVID-19 and can’t work at home during that period.
The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is paid at the rate of:
- $600.00 a week for full-time workers who were working 20 hours or more a week.
- $359 a week for part-time workers who were working less than 20 hours a week.
You can learn more about it here.
Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme
If you employ 50 or fewer staff, you may be able to apply for the Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme. This is a one-off 5 year loan where you can borrow a maximum of $10,000 plus $1,800 per full-time-equivalent employee within your business.
Applications are open until 31 December 2023 through myIR. If your business does not have a myIR account, you will need to create one to apply. Loans will be interest-free if they are paid back within 2 years. The interest rate is 3% for a maximum term of 5 years.
COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment
The Short-Term Absence Payment is available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay employees who cannot work from home while they wait at home for a COVID-19 test result. This is a one-off payment of $359 for each eligible worker. You can find the details here.
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 support available to businesses.
Get in touch
Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.