The Otago region (and New Zealand) is currently at COVID-19 Alert Level 1.
For the Business.govt.nz guidelines on running your business at alert Level L click here.
For the Government guidelines on life at Alert Level 1 click here.
Here are the links to the key official government sites for advice on managing the impacts of COVID-19:
COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme
The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is available for employers, including self-employed people, to help pay their employees who need to self-isolate and can't work from home.
This means your workers:
- Can't come into work because they are in one of the affected groups and have been told to self-isolate, and
- Can't work from home.
Find out how to apply for the Leave Support Scheme.
COVID-19 Short Term Absence Payment
The COVID-19 Short Term Absence payment is available for businesses to help pay their workers who cannot work from home while they wait for a COVID-19 test result.
This is to help keep paying eligible workers who:
- Cannot work from home, and
- Need to miss work to stay home while waiting for a COVID-19 test result.
Find out how to apply for the Short Term Absence Payment.
Resurgence Support Payment
From late-February, a Resurgence Support Payment will be available if we are at Alert Level 2 or above for a week or more. Businesses and the self-employed will be eligible if they experience an actual decline in revenue of 30% over a seven day period. The decline in revenue must be as a result of the specific Alert Level escalation, not just COVID-19 in general.
You must have been in business for at least six months to be eligible. Pre-revenue firms, such as start-ups are also eligible. Charities and not-for-profit organisations are also eligible.
Find out more information on the Resurgence Support Payment and how to apply.
Wage Subsidy Scheme
The Wage Subsidy Scheme will be available if any part of the country moves to Alert Level 3 or above for a week or more.
Businesses and the self-employed will need to prove a 40% decline in predicted or actual revenue.
Check out the Work & Income NZ website for the latest updates - we are expecting a new wage subsidy to be announced this week.
Flexi-Wage Expansion to Support New Zealanders Back into Work
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni have announced a significant expansion to the Government’s Flexi-wage initiative, which will see up to 40,000 New Zealanders supported into work. The changes significantly increase the average amount a business can access to hire a worker, and scale up the number of out of work New Zealanders the scheme will reach. Read more here
Flexi wage is an employment programme that helps job seekers get a job and the skills needed to do that job.
Find out more information about the flexiwage and how to apply.
Business Finance Guarantee Schemes
The Business Finance Guarantee Scheme loan is available for Small to Medium Sized Businesses to support operating cash flow and capital assets and projects related to, responding to or for recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.
Find out if your business is eligible and how to apply.
Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme
Organisations and small-to-medium businesses, including sole traders and the self-employed, may be eligible for a one-off loan with a term of 5 years if they have been adversely affected by COVID-19.
Find out more information about the Small Business Cash flow Loan Scheme and how to apply.
Business Cashflow and Tax Measures
Inland Revenue has information on a range of measures that can help businesses as they recover.
Read more about the tax relief and income assistance available.
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
NZ COVID Tracer
Businesses are strongly encouraged to use the Ministry of Health NZ COVID Tracer mobile app 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.
Reminder to everyone to turn on Bluetooth tracing and scan QR codes wherever you go!
Rapid and efficient contact tracing is one of the most important tools we have to find COVID-19 and stamp it out. Turn on Bluetooth tracing in the NZ COVID Tracer app and remember to keep scanning QR codes — both are important for contact tracing.
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: