Rebuilding Aotearoa New Zealand
New Zealand is emerging from the storm that is COVID-19. A common analogy heard during lockdown was that “we were all in the same boat”. Were we? We might have been in the same sea, during the same storm, but some boats stayed afloat, while others emerged just a little battered. Some sunk, others had sick people, and some lost people who they were unable to mourn and farewell as they usually would.
Regardless of how we fared personally, we are now all facing a changed country; sectors and industries are struggling, and unemployment is increasing. What can we do? What should we do? See what experts from the Otago Business School had to say:
We are now at COVID -19 Alert Level 1 - thanks to Business.govt.nz for providing the Golden Rules at Alert Level 1.
NZ COVID Tracer
Businesses are being encouraged to still use the Ministry of Health NZ COVID Tracer mobile app at alert level 1 so that if any new cases of COVID-19 are reported, any contacts can be easily traced.
The NZ COVID Tracer allows New Zealanders to create a digital diary of the places they’ve been, by scanning QR codes displayed at these locations. This helps log and track where people have visited and who they have come in contact with.
Businesses can register and download unique QR code posters for each of their premises here
Using the app and downloading the posters is voluntary, but it helps contact tracing become faster and more effective, which is an essential part of stopping the spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand.
COVID-19 Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme
The Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme has been extended for a further six weeks. Applications opened on 12 May 2020 and can now be submitted up to and including 24 July 2020. The IRD has more information available here.
COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Extension
A Wage Subsidy Extension payment will be available to support employers, including sole traders, who are still significantly impacted by COVID-19 after the Wage Subsidy ends.
The Wage Subsidy Extension will be available from 10 June 2020 until 1 September 2020 so employers can keep paying their employees. Click here for more information.
If you want to check your eligibility use this handy tool from Business.govt.nz - eligibility tool
COVID-19 Income Relief Payments
If you lose your job (including self-employment) from 1 March 2020 to 30 October 2020 due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for the COVID-19 Income Relief Payment. Click here for more information.
Commercial Rent Disputes
Guidance around commercial leases & mortgages during COVID-19 is available from the Ministry of Justice - click here.
Here are the links to the key official government sites for advice on managing the impacts of COVID-19:
Links to Councils
Dunedin City Council Click here
Waitaki District Council Click here
Central Otago District Council Click here
Clutha District Council Click here
Otago Regional Council Click here
Unfortunately there are a number of businesses that are needing to restructure at this time, some businesses are having to "mothball" their activities, and others are simply having to close shop. The Ministry of Social Development is aware of the challenges facing people in this situation and have put together some resources & information for people facing redundancy or unemployment.
Managing COVID-19 in the Workplace
The Otago Chamber of Commerce has worked together with Southern Health to produce an information resource pack for businesses. The pack includes: