Weekly Digest – 30 June 2021

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

Wellington Moves Back to Alert Level 1

Businesses are rejoicing as Wellington moves to alert level 1, a week after the announcement of a Covid-19 positive traveller. There had been more than 8200 tests in Wellington in the past week, with no positive results.

Although there has been a considerable decline in revenue due to the increase in alert level, business should pick up as locals return.

New Zealand to Resume Travel Bubble With Some Australian States

New Zealand will resume its travel bubble to certain parts of Australia, as some states implement lockdowns in Australia to contain COVID-19 outbreaks.

The travel bubble will again be available from 11:59pm on 4 July for South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. However, a negative test result is required to be presented before departure.

The New Zealand government plans to review the travel bubble pause with Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory next week. All four jurisdictions are in lockdowns due to a spread of new COVID-19 infections.

New Innovation Partnership To Help Improve New Zealanders’ Lives

Wellington-based innovation hub Creative HQ partnered with the Westpac NZ Government Innovation Fund in a three-year sponsorship deal. Through this deal, Creative HQ will be able to support teams of public sector innovators through the NZ GovTech Accelerator programme.

It is intended to give participants the confidence and leadership skills to tackle local, national, and global problems. This 13-week government innovation programme ideal for entrepreneurs, leaders and changemakers in government agencies aims to solve root-cause problems, facilitate collaboration, and upskill participants.

Now in its fourth year, the GovTech team has worked on 30 projects– 19 are still active and 13 have received funding.

Deadline Looms for Businesses to Become Accredited Migrant Employers

The government is phasing out its six migrant visa categories and combining them into a single scheme which puts more responsibility on the employer.

The Accredited Employer Work Visa will be introduced on 1 November. Those who want to hire migrants must first become accredited by demonstrating they were a good employer and their business was financially sound.

Training Incentive Allowance to Support 16,000 Kiwis

The government is bringing back the Training Incentive Allowance to support 16,000 New Zealanders to retrain and gain higher skills. An investment of $127 million will be given over four years from the COVID-19 Recovery and Response Fund to reinstate this program.

Business Finance Guarantee Scheme

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

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

Free Online Digital Training and Support Tool

DigitalBoost.co.nz is a free training and support service to help businesses develop their digital capabilities. This includes providing support on cybersecurity and fraud prevention.

Get in touch with us if you need help with your business.

Short-term Absence Payment

This 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 $350. You can find the details here.

Leave Support Scheme

The Leave Support Scheme is available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay their workers who can’t work from home and meet certain health criteria, eg they have COVID-19 or are a ‘close contact’ who has been told to self-isolate for 14 days.

The Leave Support Scheme is paid as a 2-week lump sum per eligible employee.

The Leave Support Scheme is paid at a flat rate of:

  • $585.80 a week for full-time workers who were working 20 hours or more a week
  • $350 a week for part-time workers who were working less than 20 hours a week.

Find out more about the Leave Support Scheme here.

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.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Pushing Through With a New Product or Service

As a business leader, you’re probably full of ideas, especially when it comes to new products or services. However, this doesn’t mean that you should always move forward with them.

In this Forbes article, members of the Young Entrepreneur Council share some questions you can ask yourself before investing time, money, and resources into a product or service idea.

  • Does the customer need this feature?
  • Is the market large enough?
  • How does it help revenue or retention?
  • Will the product or service be able to scale?
  • Is creating the product within my budget?
  • Do I have to make the product myself?
  • Would I use it?
  • Would my enemy use it?

By spending time thinking about these questions, you’ll be able to decide if you should push through with your idea or not.

Interested in gaining access to personalised business advice? Book a one-on-one consultation with us today!

Get in touch

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