Weekly Digest – 26 May 2021

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

New Zealand Pauses Travel Bubble With Victoria

New Zealand has halted quarantine-free travel with Victoria as a new cluster emerged on Tuesday. This marks the fourth time the travel bubble has been disrupted since it started last month.

The suspension took effect at 8:00 pm on Tuesday and is expected to remain in place for at least 72 hours before being re-evaluated.

What You Need to Know About Budget 2021

The government’s Budget 2021 has been announced and NZ Herald has put together a comprehensive summary of the important points. Here are some key points you need to know:

  • All weekly benefit rates will increase by between $32 and $55 per adult in April 2022, while student living support will go up by $25 a week.
  • The budget provides an extra $200 million for Pharmac over the next four years, but scraps free annual GP visits and eye checks for senior citizens, as it would be of “limited benefit”.
  • $380 million for 1000 new homes for Māori, repairs for 700 Māori–owned homes; $242.8 million for Māori health initiatives, including setting up the new Māori Health Authority; $150 million in Māori Education; and $15 million for Māori tourism.
  • Additional $15.1 billion for infrastructure, including $810 million for KiwiRail, $761 million for school property, $700 million for hospitals, and $306 million for Scott Base.
  • $5.1 billion left in the $62 billion COVID-19 response and recovery fund. Forecast of a “significant opening” of the border on 1 January 2022

The Treasury also forecasts unemployment to peak at 5.3% in September then fall to 4.4% by June 2025. Meanwhile, economic growth is expected to reach 2.9% this year then hit 4.4% for 2023.

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.

Australian Buyers to Meet with New Zealand’s Business Events Industry

For the first time in two years, 66 Australian hosted buyers and industry media from Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Perth will be in Auckland for MEETINGS 2021 that will be held on 2 and 3 June. This two-day networking event features 149 companies from 18 regions across New Zealand.

This is a turning point for the business events industry as this provides an opportunity for buyers and suppliers to get back together and meet in person and transact business.

Non-Bank Lenders Join 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.

If you borrow from a bank, it will determine the amount you can borrow and the length of the term up to a maximum of $5 million payable in five years. Meanwhile, if you borrow from a non-bank, the maximum amount is $3 million payable in five years. More information on eligibility criteria and how it works can be found here.

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

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise, in partnership with The Mind Lab and Indigo, has launched a free training and support services to help businesses develop their digital capabilities.

More than 9100 small businesses are already taking advantage of these solutions through DigitalBoost.co.nz. This includes providing support on cybersecurity and fraud prevention.

Meanwhile, if you want more focused software integration advice, you may also get in touch with us so we can assist you in getting the right tech in place.

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.

Project Management Tips to Help You Achieve Your Goals

Planning your path towards your goals is one thing, but staying on course can be a different challenge. In this Forbes article, you’ll learn some tips to help you hit your targets. Here’s an overview of the key points:

Visualise the work needed to achieve your goal.

  • Write down the steps that are necessary to achieve your goals.
  • Write down all your other work tasks and engagements.
  • Keep a to-do list for responsibilities at home, and discuss family plans for the week.

Sort the work and optimise your schedule around known constraints.

  • Start with time-sensitive tasks that have fixed deadlines.
  • Block off your calendar for a couple of segments each day.
  • Split your tasks into two lists.

Stick to the plan.

  • Start your day by determining the tasks you’ll work on, write them down on sticky notes, and post them somewhere that’s easily visible to you.
  • Celebrate accomplished tasks, and take note of unplanned tasks.
  • Summarise your work for the day.

Need expert help on project management? Book a one-on-one consultation with us!

Get in touch

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