NAVIGATING THE LATEST LEVEL 4 LOCKDOWN – A RUNDOWN ON WHAT HELP IS AVAILABLE

It’s day three of the latest Level 4 lockdown and, while we know the current lockdown is going to impact businesses, there’s still a lot we don’t know.  It’s not yet clear how long we will spend in Level 4, what impact the latest lockdown will have on different business, or what overall impact on the New Zealand economy will be.  Last week, most were expecting an OCR increase.  On Wednesday, it was held at 0.25%, due at least in part to the lockdown.

The Level 4 rules are a bit different to the last time around and can be found here.  The current locations of interest are listed here.  

Our team is working remotely and are available to discuss what can be done to help your business respond to the latest lockdown and are offering free 30-minute consultations with one of our recovery specialists.  While there will be some overarching commonalities, each business’ needs are unique and best served by tailored advice.  Don’t hesitate to reach out on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 09 303 0506 for a confidential discussion. 

Government Short Term Financial Support

One of the biggest immediate concerns for most businesses is the negative effect a lockdown has on revenue.  Estimates vary but economists and the Finance Minister have put the cost of the current Level 4 lockdown at somewhere between $200 million and $300 million a day.  The Finance Minister has said that there is around $6 billion available to respond to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

The Government has a financial support tool that helps businesses and individuals identify the support options available to them, which can be found here, and has set up a COVID-19 helpline for businesses, which can be reached on 0800 500 362 (North Island) and 0800 505 096 (South Island).

Businesses who suffer a drop in revenue because of the increase to Alert Level 4 will be eligible to receive the:

  • Wage Subsidy (requires a drop in revenue of at least 40%): Applications are open for two weeks from 9 am on Friday, 20 August 2021. 
    • The wage subsidy covers wages for two weeks and the amounts available per employee have been increased to $600 or $359 per week, depending on the employee’s hours.
    • Applications are submitted to MSD.  The eligibility criteria can be found here and applications can be submitted online using the employer application forms.  The application process for large employers (80 or more employees) can be found here.  
    • The payment must be used to cover employees’ wages.
  • Resurgence Support Payment (requires a drop in revenue of at least 30%): Applications are open for one month from 8 am Monday, 24 August 2021. 
    • Those eligible receive a one-off payment of $1,500 per business plus $400 per full-time employee and can receive up to $21,500.
    • Applications are submitted to the IRD through myIR.  The eligibility criteria can be found here  
    • The payment must be used to pay business expenses.
    • The payment is not subject to income tax.
    • Applications are submitted to the IRD through myIR.  

Businesses who have employees who have, or may have, COVID-19, are eligible for:

  • Short term absence payments $350 per worker per 30 day period for any worker who needs to self-isolate while waiting for a COVID-19 test result and cannot work from home.
  • Leave support for employees who are self-isolating at the direction of a health official and cannot work from home. Each lump sum support payment covers two weeks and was previously at the same weekly rates as the wage subsidy.

These schemes are administered through MSD

Other Financial Measures and Support:

  • The debt hibernation scheme, which allows businesses to delay payment of their debts but requires debts to be paid in full, has been extended to 31 October 2021.
  • Applications for the Small Business Cashflow Loan, administered through the IRD, remain open until 31 December 2023. Businesses who have seen a downturn of at least 30% compared to the same month the previous year can borrow $10,000 plus $1,800 per full time employee (up to $100,000).

MVP Business Support

Businesses that address issues at an early stage generally have better outcomes than those who delay acting.  There are a number of different business restructuring, turnaround, and insolvency options available that can be employed to help achieve the best outcome.  Those processes include:

  • Creditor Compromise: If the business is viable and, with creditors’ support, can return more to creditors than they would receive in liquidation, a creditors' compromise could be the solution.
  • Voluntary Administration: If the business needs to restructure its debt and outside assistance to trade its way out of its financial difficulties, the business might be a good candidate for being put into voluntary administration
  • Receivership: If a secured creditor (including shareholders with a general security over the business’ assets) needs to protect it’s interests, its best option might be to appoint receivers
  • Liquidation: If it’s time to exit the business, for any number of reasons, it might be time to put the company into liquidation
  • Part 5 Proposal: If personal exposure arising personal lending and personal guarantees needs to be addressed, it could be worth exploring a Part 5 Proposal.   

Our firm is a registered service provider with the Regional Business Partners, which means that we have access to co-funding for some of our business advisory and turnaround services.  If your business has been directly affected by New Zealand’s closed borders, some services are fully funded.  If you’re not yet registered with the Regional Business Partner Network, you can register here

We are also still honouring our Empty Company offer for businesses that have stopped trading and no longer have any assets.

Our insolvency specialists are available on mobile:

Peri Finnigan

021 900 657

Iain McLennan

021 664 556

Boris van Delden

021 900 659

Colin Sanderson

021 330 741

Keaton Pronk

021 137 4513

Marisa Brugeyroux

021 242 4497

 

             

             

             

             

             

             

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