Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.
Q1 Inflation Rose to 30-year High
According to Statistics New Zealand, annual inflation rose 6.9% from 5.9%, hitting a three-decade high since the 7.6% annual increase in 1990. Rising prices for food, construction, and housing is fueling surging inflation.
Small Business Sales Increase, Jobs Added in March
Small businesses managed to boost their sales and add jobs in March amid the increase in Omicron cases, according to a new Xero report. The Xero Small Business Index showed an increase of 20 points over March to 134. This is well above the benchmark average of 100.
Government Unveils Older Workers Employment Action Plan
The government has introduced the Older Workers Employment Action Plan to help employees and jobseekers 50 years old and above to find sustainable work that fits their needs. You can find more information about the 11 actions detailed in the plan here.
Government Supports Extra Housing Development
Around 400 urban renewal projects in Mt Roskill, Mangere, Tāmaki, Oranga and Northcote will receive government funding from the $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund. You can learn more about the specific work programmes enabled by the funding here.
New Website Launched to Support AgriTech Businesses
The new website, Agritech Support Explorer, has been launched to help businesses navigate the ever-changing landscape of government funding and capability support. Through this website, AgriTech business owners will find a curated selection of the most relevant support options available to them, including targeted information for Māori-owned and led businesses.
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.
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.