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COVID-19 Financial Support Update

Covid-19 Financial Support Update March 2021

March 23, 2021

As a result of COVID-19, financial pressure is a reality for many small businesses, individuals and families.  We are here to assist and advise our clients, in terms of future plans or opportunities, but also to help assess what can be done from a financial relief and structure perspective.  The Government has provided a number of financial support schemes to help businesses and their employees in times of difficulty and to recover from the effects of COVID-19.  Each time there is a lockdown, ensure you take time to assess the impact on your business to see if you are eligible for the support that is offered.  As some of the criteria to access support was changed during the most recent lockdown we recommend reviewing your position to see if your business qualifies for support that may not have previously been an option. Below is a summary of the current  support measures available:


  • Wage subsidy

    • What is this?
      • Helps employers and self-employed people to continue to pay employees and protect jobs for businesses.
      • Applications for the Wage Subsidy for March 2021 closed on 21 March 2021 (for those impacted by the rise in Alert Levels on 28 February 2021).
      • This will automatically be available if New Zealand goes into another lockdown as it is available for those affected by the rise in Alert Levels from Level 3 or higher for more than 7 days.
    • How much support is available?
      • It will be paid for 2 weeks at the rate of:
        • $585.80 a week for each FTE (20 hours or more).
        • $350.00 a week for each part-time employee (less than 20 hours).
      • Who is eligible?
        • Your business must have experienced a 40% decline in revenue over a 14 day period from the first date of Alert Level 3 or higher (assuming it is in this level for 7 days or more), compared with a typical 14 day period in the 6 weeks prior.
        • Businesses can apply for the payment each time it is activated, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.
        • You cannot get the Wage Subsidy for an employee for the period that they are covered by a Leave Support Scheme or Short-Term Absence Payment.
  • COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payment

    • What is this?
      • Support payment to help businesses directly affected when there is an increase from Alert Level 1 for a week or more.
      • It helps to cover wages and fixed costs.
    • How much support is available?
      • A lump sum of $1,500.00 is payable to all businesses that qualify. Additional payments of $400.00 are available for each full-time equivalent (FTE) employee up to a maximum of $21,500.00.
      • Sole traders can receive a payment of up to $1,900.00.
    • Who is eligible?
      • Business must have experienced at least a 30% drop in revenue over a 7 day period after the increased Alert Level.
      • Businesses can apply for the payment each time it is activated, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.
      • Applications are open for 1 month after the return to Alert Level 1.
  • COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment

    • What is this?
      • Helps businesses to pay their employees who cannot work from home while they wait for a COVID-19 test result.
      • This payment is also available to self-employed people.
    • How much support is available?
      • A one-off payment of $350.00 is available for each employee.
  • COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme

    • If your employees have been advised to self-isolate and they cannot work from home, you can apply for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme for them.
    • You can also apply if you are self-employed or a sole trader.
  • Business Finance Guarantee scheme

  • Business cash flow and tax measures

  • Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme

  • Insolvency relief for businesses

  • COVID-19 commercial lease dispute services

  • Apprenticeship Boost initiative


For further details on any of the above schemes, refer to the following:


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

About Melissa Foster

Melissa Foster Director, Giles & Liew Chartered AccountantsDirector of Giles & Liew Chartered Accountants, Melissa has extensive experience across a variety of Accounting and Finance functions, bringing a wealth of commercial expertise to clients. Her specialities include helping business owners to expand into and operate in international markets including managing complex reporting requirements, consolidation of business units and reporting for management purposes.

Melissa can assist with giving advice over key financial processes and controls, maximising efficiencies and creating automation, giving recommendations and advice on technical issues, financial statement preparation, management accounting, budgeting, forecasting, transfer pricing and payroll.

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