It is pleasing to have our industry back at work this week, although it is far from business as usual.
We had a great response to our safety plans with a huge uptake and it is good to see so many taking this seriously. I have been working alongside Worksafe to have these protocols endorsed and am just awaiting final confirmation following a few tweaks. It will serve our industry well having these standards endorsed and I will circulate the final copy of the over-arching protocols once they are signed off by the CEO of Worksafe.
NEW SMALL BUSINESS LOAN SCHEME ANNOUNCED
The Government today announced they will provide interest free loans for a year to small businesses impacted by COVID-19 to support their immediate cashflow needs and meet fixed costs.
The scheme will be available to businesses with 50 or fewer employees and will provide up to $100,000
The scheme will provide $10,000 to every business and in addition $1800 per equivalent full time employee. Loans will be interest free if they are paid back within a year, but the loan can be paid back over five years at an interest rate of 3%, with no repayments required for the first two years.
The scheme is designed to give businesses access to cashflow to meet fixed costs on concessionary terms. The Government recognises that the Business Loan Guarantee Scheme through the banks has not been suitable for many small businesses - although there have been further changes made to that today as well, in particular removing the need for a General Security Agreement.
The eligibility criteria for the new loan are the same as for the Wage Subsidy Scheme in that the business will enter into a legally binding contract. You will have to declare that the business is viable and that the money will be used for core business operating costs. In addition there will be an audit process.
The funding will be available through IRD. Applications will open on 12 May and be open for one month. I will send out a link once it opens.
Have a great weekend in your slightly bigger bubbles.