REVISED BUSINESS FINANCE GUARANTEE SCHEME
The Business Finance Guarantee Scheme was revised late last year to become more fit for purpose and to help more businesses recover from the ongoing effects of COVID-19.
Rules regarding what the loans can be used for have now loosened and things such as CAPEX, working capital, business expansion etc can all be funded through the scheme.
Majority of the banks are letting their existing customers refinance up to 20% of their existing debts onto the scheme and sometimes up to 100% for a new customer.
You can read more about the Scheme here.
Currently, the BFS loans must be documented and fully drawn by 30 June 2021 to qualify.
If you would like to discuss if your business should refinance or for new funding, please feel free to contact us on 03 374 9393.
COVID-19 SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES
We have mentioned what support is available for businesses during COVID-19 over our past newsletters, but here is an up to date link that summarises what is available and how you can apply.
COVID-19 Financial Support for Businesses
THE HOLIDAYS ACT – SOME CHANGES ON THE WAY
The Government have agreed to an overhaul of New Zealand’s Holidays Act, and the proposed changes that were announced this week include:
• Employees will be able to take 1 day’s Sick Leave from from their first day of employment, with an additional day per month until their minimum entitlement is reached.
• Employees will also be able to take Bereavement and Family Violence Leave from their first day of employment.
• They are extending who employees can take Bereavement leave for, which will include death of stepfamily members, siblings-in-law and children-in-law, some family groups such as whāngai relationships, and aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
• Payslips will need to be given to employees to ensure they know their leave entitlements.
• They are removing the ‘override” for parental leave entitlements. Currently an employee returning from parental leave can be paid at the rate of their average weekly earnings (which can be close to nothing sometimes), but with the new change they would need to be paid at their full rate.
Workplace Relations Minister Michael Wood said they are expecting to introduce legislation in early 2022.
You can read more here.
If you feel strongly about any of this, we suggest you contact the Government’s Holidays Act Taskforce before the Bill is passed in Parliament.
MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE FROM 1 APRIL 2021
The adult minimum wage is increasing from $18.90 to $20.00 per hour from the 1st of April 2021. Those on starting out and training wages will also increase from $15.12 to $16.00. (80% of the minimum wage).
FREE DIGITAL SKILLS TRAINING
A free Government-funded Digital Boost Programme, through Ministry Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the private sector is now available to help support businesses into the Digital world.
If you’re looking to learn some digital skills to boost your business, you can check out some of the free education and support here.