Weekly Digest – 14 October 2020

Hello again – welcome to the latest edition of our Weekly Digest. Read on for this week’s update.

Survey: NZ Businesses Prepared to Innovate

In an Asia Pacific survey by Microsoft, about a quarter of 420 New Zealand businesses were leaders in promoting innovation, significantly more than the Asia Pacific average of 8%.

It was also found that nearly two-thirds of New Zealand organisations were speeding up the adoption of digital services, such as payments, e-commerce, and automation.

If you need help on how your small business can build resilience and drive recovery through innovation, drop us a message so we can schedule a one-on-one business consultation.

Card Spending Rose 24.6% in September Quarter

Stats NZ data showed retail card spending increased at a record rate of 24.6% in the September quarter as the whole country moved to Alert Level 1. Low interest rates, pent-up demand, and a resilient labour market also contributed to stronger retail spending.

Now that COVID-19 restrictions have been removed, things are looking bright for Kiwi businesses. However, if your business is still struggling to recover, flick us a message for personalised, expert advice.

Financial Help For Small Māori-owned Businesses Extended

The $10 million Māori Trustee Top-Up Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme, which has paid almost $1 million to 120 Māori-owned small and medium-sized enterprises, has been extended until 31 December 2020.

Māori SMEs can apply if they have already received Inland Revenue’s Government Small Business Cashflow Loan. If they can prove Māori ownership and meet other criteria, they can apply for a further 50% of that loan amount from the Māori Trustee.

No repayments were required for the first two years, but the loan had to be repaid in full within five years.

If you need assistance with your application or would like to take advantage of other financial help you are eligible for, contact us today so we can guide you in considering your options.

Government Loan Applications Extended

The government has extended the Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme until the end of the year. For those who haven’t applied for this government loan yet, you can check your eligibility here or you can get in touch with us so we can assist you with your application.

The Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme allows you to get financial assistance of up to $100,000 and an additional $1800 per equivalent full-time employee. Repayments are not required for the first two years, but if the loan is paid back within a year, there will be no interest.

NZ Signs Deal with Pfizer-BioNTech For 1.5 Million COVID-19 Vaccines

The deal to buy 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer Inc and BioNTech, with potential delivery as early as the first quarter of 2021, will provide enough to vaccinate 750,000 people.

The NZ government is currently in talks with other drug companies to secure more vaccine supplies for the country of 5 million people and further announcements were expected next month.

Business Events Get Green Signal Across NZ

The confirmation of Auckland’s move to Alert Level 1 is awesome news for the business events industry. As Kiwis have been given the green light to meet, business events such as conferences, seminars, workshops, or team recognition events are now allowed.

In line with this, the Conventions and Incentives New Zealand has opened registrations for BE Reconnected, which is a free industry exhibition and networking day in Auckland on 1 December.

Live Webinars to Help You Navigate Through The Crisis

Two live business webinars organised by Auckland Emergency Management will be held on Thursday 15 October at 6pm and on Monday 19 October at 10am. Participants will not only learn how to build resilience during disruptive events such as COVID-19, but can also ask questions and share their experiences or ideas.

To register, you may visit resorgs.org.nz/aem-webinars. However, if you want a one-on-one session on how your business can bounce back stronger, you may get in touch with us for a business consultation.

Free Expert Business Advice for Auckland Businesses

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) has supported thousands of businesses affected by COVID-19 this year by giving them access to fully funded expert advice amounting to $10 million.

If you haven’t connected with them, now is the best time to get consultancy services in the following key areas:

  • HR, employee relations and legal – including restructures, employment contracts, legal obligations and HR processes, and ownership structures
  • Financial and cashflow management – including cashflow forecasting, business scenario forecasting, capital raising and debt restructuring
  • Health and wellness – including health and safety plans, employee wellbeing plans and stress management coaching
  • Business continuity planning – including crisis management, pivot strategies and business continuity plans or business resilience plans
  • Marketing strategy – including plans for marketing, product launches, digital marketing and reaching new customers
  • Digital enablement strategy – including social media strategy, ecommerce strategy, website optimisation, and digital customer journey mapping
  • Business hibernation (for tourism businesses only) – including business debt hibernation processes and scenario planning

Those who haven’t previously accessed support from the Regional Business Partner have to register on the RBP website first. You would need your GST number and NZBN number to do this. Meanwhile, Auckland businesses already registered can email the ATEED Business Helpdesk for their application, even if initial support from the COVID-19 Business Advisory Fund has been accessed.

If you would like to chat about your business, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We can help you develop a plan for your specific situation.

COVID-19’s Potential Impact on GDP

Prior to COVID-19, models of what could happen during a pandemic overstated the possible global death toll, but understated the potential hit to GDP. But as a series in The Economist explains, our current pandemic may have lasting impact.

The impacts of shutting down schools may persist for decades. Governments around the world are issuing debt at levels never before seen to finance support for workers and businesses. The virus continues to spread, but the extent of impact in poorer countries remains largely invisible. Rapid development of vaccines mean that they may be available in 2021, but their safety and efficacy are so far largely unknown. The shift to an online world for retail, work, entertainment, and education will likely influence us for years to come. The question we all have to answer is whether those impacts will result in meaningful changes that help to elevate all or that exacerbate divisions and inequalities.

We sincerely hope for positive changes that help to make this a better world!

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