Assistance and support information for small and medium-sized businesses.

There’s a range of COVID-19 financial support available to small and medium businesses, depending on your situation. Below is more about each type of support and where you can find more information. Businesses across the play, active recreation and sport sector will be eligible for this support if they meet the criteria for each initiative.

  •  COVID-19 Helpline for business advice
  • Traffic Light Transition payment
  • Short Term Absence payment
  • Leave Support Scheme payment
  • Wage subsidy
  • Resurgence Support Payment
  • Small business cashflow scheme
  • Tax and ACC support

COVID-19 helpline for business advice

The current business environment is full of information. The COVID-19 Business Helpline can help - free for all businesses to call – whether you have questions around the Wage Subsidy extension, accounting treatment of the Wage Subsidy, the Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme, business cashflow and tax measures.

Or your query may be around restructuring, downsizing, or redundancy processes, health and safety requirements or even help with business continuity and planning for the future. Even if you would just like a sounding board – give the Helpline a call, it’s run by the BusinessNZ network.

0800 500 362 (North Island); 0800 505 096 (South Island) - FREE for all businesses.

Traffic Light Transition payment

The Government has announced a transitional payment as New Zealand moves into the COVID-19 Protection Framework (Traffic Light system). A one-off payment available to eligible businesses, particularly those in Auckland, Waikato and Northland who were in prolonged periods of lockdown and have suffered reduced income. The transition payment has the same eligibility criteria as the Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) and will be available through the RSP system in myIR. See more on Inland Revenue’s Transition payment page.

Short Term Absence payment

The COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment is available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay their workers who cannot work from home while they wait for a COVID-19 test result. See more on Work and Income’s COVID-19 Short Term Absence Payment page.

Leave Support Scheme payment

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is available for employers, including self-employed people, to help pay their employees who need to self-isolate and can't work from home. See more on Work and Income’s COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme page.

Wage subsidy

The Wage Subsidy is a payment to support eligible businesses, organisations and the self-employed affected by Alert Levels 3 and 4, so they can continue to pay employees and protect jobs. Applications for the eighth round, Wage Subsidy August 2021 #8 opened on Friday 26 November until 11.59pm on 9 December 2021. See more on Work and Income’s COVID-19 Wage Subsidy August 2021 page.

Resurgence Support payment

The Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) is a payment to help support viable and ongoing businesses or organisations due to a COVID-19 alert level increase to level 2 or higher. If your business or organisation is facing a reduction in revenue due to an alert level increase, you may be eligible for the RSP. The 4th, 5th and 6th editions of the RSP are open for applications until midnight 13 January 2022. See more on Inland Revenue’s Resurgence Support page.

Small business cashflow scheme

Government will provide one-off loans to small businesses, including sole traders and the self-employed, impacted by COVID-19 to support their cash flow needs.

The small business cash flow loan scheme will provide assistance of up to $100,000 to businesses employing 50 or fewer full-time employees.

Applications have been extended until and including 31 December 2023. To get an indication of your eligibility, use the business.govt.nz SBCS eligibility tool. For a full list of detailed criteria, visit Inland Revenue.

IRD tax support

Many businesses and organisations will have changed the way they operate to respond to the challenge of COVID-19. There are new measures designed to help businesses and their employees deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. If you’re having difficulties meeting your tax obligations due to COVID-19, Inland Revenue has various support schemes and options to help.

See more here.

A tax loss carry-back scheme

A temporary loss carry-back scheme has been introduced to support customers in the current uncertain economic environment.

Businesses expecting to make a loss in either the 2020 year or the 2021 year can use that loss to offset profits they made the year before. In other words, they can carry the loss back one year to the preceding income year. This can be done before the loss year return is filed.

You must let IRD know if you are going to use the loss carry-back scheme. You can do this in the ‘I want to’ section of your income tax account in myIR.

IRD can refund some or all of the tax already paid for the preceding year before the loss year has finished by enabling customers to estimate their loss. Refunds will be processed a lot faster if you use myIR. More information can be found here.

ACC support

If you are having trouble making ACC payments, ACC has guidance to help. If you are no longer in business, it’s also a good idea to let ACC know. See more here: General COVID-19 information for businesses.

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