Weekly Digest – 14 August 2020

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

Call for Calm Amid Auckland’s Return to Alert Level 3

Four new COVID-19 cases have been detected in Auckland this week ending our 102 day streak without a locally transmitted cases.

Level 3 restrictions have been reintroduced in Auckland as at 12pm Wednesday until midnight on Friday.

While health officials determine the extent of local transmission, non-essential businesses, schools, and childcare facilities will be temporarily shut down.  Mass gatherings will be limited to 10 people, and residents will be permitted to leave their homes only when necessary.

Traveling into Auckland is also not allowed through the end of the week unless people live there and are returning home.  Meanwhile, the rest of the country will be moved to Alert Level 2 as a precautionary measure.

Under Alert Level 2, social gatherings will be limited to 100 people and public venues such as swimming pools and museums will remain open as long as they maintain records of visitors and social distancing rules are enforced.

Although this is a scenario that we all hoped wouldn’t happen again, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern assured Kiwis that this is something that they had prepared for.

We understand that this return to lockdown is unfortunate news for struggling businesses, especially in the retail and hospitality sector.  However, there are ways by which you can cushion its impact.  Feel free to leave us a message so we can help you work out a plan on how to recover amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business support schemes you might not have heard of

While you’ve probably heard about the wage subsidy and small business loans programs, there are other grants and schemes available to business owners that you might not have heard of.  This stuff.co.nz article details 5 business support schemes that have gone under the radar including business debt hibernation and IRD penalty and interest relief.  Ask us if you have any questions about what you’re eligible for and how to apply.

Research: 61% of Small Businesses are Clueless About Online Payment Safety Standard

Results from New Zealand Post’s latest research shows online shopping increased 105% when NZ moved into Alert Level 3.  Furthermore, it was found that Kiwis continue to buy local, as domestic online sales accounted for 71% of the total online spending.

However, in a recent survey conducted by Cert NZ, it was found that 61% of small- and medium-sized business owners responsible for their website had no real knowledge of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements, which are meant to reduce credit card fraud.  This can be problematic if you are accepting payments through your website.

Reinventing Your Business for Speed in the Post-COVID World

The pandemic has prompted business leaders to embrace technology and data, reinvent core processes, and adopt collaboration tools.  In the post-COVID-19 era, there will be an increasing need for businesses to get things done fast without compromising quality.  This McKinsey article talks about nine actions to unleash sustainable speed:

  • Speed up and delegate decision making.
  • Step up exe
  • Cultivate extraordinary partnerships.
  • Flatten the structure.
  • Unleash nimble, empowered teams.
  • Make hybrid work, work.
  • Field tomorrow’s leaders today.
  • Learn how to learn.
  • Rethink the role of CEOs and leaders.

The coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges of our times.  If you want to stay afloat, the time to build a business designed for speed is now.  We can help you reimagine your business and reinvent the future so you can come back stronger as the economy gradually reopens.

Mentoring Scheme for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses

The Regional Business Partner Network gives business owners access to advice and resources on business continuity planning, finance and cashflow management, HR issues, and sector-specific concerns amid the COVID-19 crisis.  You can find more details in this article from Treasury.

If you’re looking for ways to adapt your business, get in touch with us.

Government Loan Applications Extended

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.

The government has extended this loan 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.

Applications for Wage Subsidy Extension Close Next Month

Applications for the Wage Subsidy Extension are open until 1 September 2020.  This initiative is aimed at supporting employers, including the self-employed, who have been significantly hit by COVID-19.  Under this scheme, the wages of your employees will be covered over an 8-week period.

On the Bright Side…

We’re now in the third quarter of 2020 and we are still in the grips of a global pandemic– leaving many scared, frustrated, and struggling.  However, among the dire news, there have been a few bright spots, as this article points out, with a listing of 100 positive things that have happened so far in 2020.  For example, drive-in movie theatres are showing a resurgence, adoption and fostering of homeless animals has risen, and museums around the world have opened for virtual tours.

We understand that this year seems incredibly hard, and it surely doesn’t feel like a moment when you can easily see the glass as half full or make lemonade out of lemons.  While it’s okay to not be okay, we encourage you to find the silver linings.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.

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