The New Zealand Government today announced changes to the COVID-19 Alert System level. New Zealand is now classed as Level 3, effective immediately, and will progress to Level 4 by Wednesday 25th March 2020. At the same time, the Government announced changes to expand its COVID-19 Wage Subsidy and Leave Payment Scheme.
- The $150,000 limit on wage or leave subsidies has now been removed, effective immediately. All business types are eligible for the relief, including companies, sole traders, partnerships, contractors.
- Organisations that are less than one year old or who have seen a significant increase in revenue over the past year are now also eligible. These businesses need to show a 30% revenue decline month on month (eg: Feb 2020 compared to Jan 2020) rather than against the same month last year.
- Registered charities and non-profit organisations are now eligible.
The Government, together with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and New Zealand banks has agreed in principal to a Business Guarantee Scheme. The scheme leverages the Crown’s balance sheet to extend lending and offer significant support for mortgage holders. More information will be announced in the coming days.
IMPORTANT ADVICE – Take your time to work through your options!
Talk to your accountant – while we would love to give a list of advice to all businesses we know that everyone’s situation is slightly different. Please give the Villa team a call on 09 4340 771 – our emails are a little crazy right now so please call us if your query is urgent!
Apply for the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy or Leave Payment – use the Work and Income website to fill in a very simple form. You’ll need your New Zealand Business Number, your business IRD number and the details of your employees (if you have any).
If you are a sole trader, apply here.
If you are a company or business with employees or you are a shareholder employee, apply here.
Talk to your bank– you may be able to switch your loans to interest only temporarily to save your usual principal payments to cushion your business from a potential financial blow.
Talk to IRD– if you’re worried about making your upcoming tax payments, speak to the IRD about your concerns. Last week the Government announced several tax relief measures for businesses impacted by COVID-19, take advantage of these if you need them.
KiwiSaver – for information on how COVID-19 may impact your KiwiSaver, check out this article.
We are here to help
The Villa team is here to help you. We are now working remotely, all scheduled meetings will go ahead but may be moved to a video call. We will be in touch to give you details.
If you’re concerned or need advice please get in touch. We are passionate about helping Northland businesses, in good times and challenging times.