Covid-19 Financial Support for Businesses

Significant support is available for your business following the rise in alert levels announced on 17 August 2021.


The Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS)

If your business cannot operate because of Alert Level 4 restrictions or you will lose revenue, you can apply for the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme to help keep paying your staff.

Businesses and self-employed people must expect a 40% drop in revenue to be eligible to receive the wage subsidy.

The wage subsidy is paid in a 2 week lump sum. You can get:

  • $600 per week for each full-time employee
  • $359 per week for each part-time employee

Applications for the Wage Subsidy are now open and will be open for 2 weeks. You need to apply through Work and Income.

Please click here to find out if you are eligible for this subsidy, obligations and how to apply.

Resurgence Support Payment

The Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) helps to cover wages and fixed costs for businesses who have been directly affected when there is an increase to Alert Level 2 or higher for a week or more.

To be eligible, your business must have experienced at at least a 30% drop in revenue or a 30% decline in a capital-raising ability over a 7-day period, due to increase in Alert Levels.

You can receive $1,500 per business plus $400 per full-time employee (FTE), up to 50 FTE.

The maximum payment is $21,500.

If you’re a sole trader, you can receive a payment of up to $1,900.

Applications for this payment will open at 8am on 24 August 2021. You need to apply through Inland Revenue.

You can apply for both the Resurgence Support Payment and the Wage Subsidy if you meet all the eligible criteria.

Please click here is to find out if you are eligible for this payment, your obligations and how to apply.

Short Term Absence Payment

If your employee has been told to self-isolate, they legally must stay home until they are told they no longer need to by public health officials. This payment helps businesses keep paying employees who:

  • cannot work from home, and
  • need to stay at home while waiting for a COVID-19 result.

Please note that this is only available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay employees who cannot work from home while they wait for a COVID-19 test result. 

Employees on a casual contract are also eligible for the payment.

You can also use the short term absence payment to pay employees who have to stay home and look after a dependent child because their child has been asked to get a COVID-19 test.

You can claim a one off payment of $350 (once per 30 days) for each eligible employee. The rate increases to $359 from Tuesday 24 August 2021.

Please click here to find out more about this payment and how to apply.

Leave Support Scheme

You can use this payment to help pay for employees who:

  • need to stay home and look after a dependent child who needs support to self-isolate.
  • are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and a doctor or health professional has told them to self-isolate while there is a risk of community transmission.

The Leave Support Scheme is paid at a rate of:

  • $585.80 per week for full-time workers who were working 20 hours or more a week.
  • $350 per week for part-time workers who were working less than 20 hours a week.

Employees on a casual contract are also eligible for the payment.

Employers and employees need to meet certain criteria to apply for the Leave Support Scheme.

Please click here to find out more and how to apply.

Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme (SBCS)

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. You can borrow a maximum of $10,000 plus $1,800 per full-time -equivalent employee within your business.

  • When applying for the loan, you need to be able to declare that your business is viable.
  • Your business must have experienced a minimum of 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue over the period of a month, compared with the same month last year.
  • Applications are open until 31 December 2023 through myIR.
  • Loan will be interest free if it is paid back within 2 years. The interest rate is 3% for a maximum of 5 years.

Please click here to find out more about the SBCS and how to apply.

Tax support

If you’re having difficulties meeting your tax obligations due to COVID-19, Inland Revenue has various support schemes and options to help. Please click here for more information.

We can organise payment arrangements with IRD to help you repay your tax over a period of time. This can be for amounts due now or later. 

Please get in touch with us if you’d like us to arrange a payment arrangement.

Insolvency relief for businesses

The COVID-19 Business Debt Hibernation scheme allows businesses to get a month’s protection while they talk to their creditors. During this period, most creditors cannot take legal action to enforce their debts, for example, applying for your business to be liquidated. If your creditors agree, you can get a further 6 months’ protection.

Applications are open until 31 October 2021.

Please click here for more information.

Covid-19 financial support tool

You can use the COVID-19 financial support tool to find out what financial help may be available to you.

This tool will take you through a step by step process and will then help you determine what financial help and support you can access.

Use the COVID-19 financial support tool

Free COVID-19 Business Helpline

All New Zealand businesses, including sole traders, can get support and advice on:

  • government financial support
  • what different alert levels mean for your business
  • business continuity
  • finding free or subsidised expert help, eg. a business mentor or advisor.

Employers can also get specific advice on people challenges, including staffing changes, employee wellness, and meeting your health and safety obligations.

North Island 0800 500 362 Ι South Island 0800 505 096


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