More financial support for businesses struggling with higher Covid alert levels | 1 NEWS


Increased financial support for businesses is on the way as rising Covid-19 alert levels continue to impact their bottom line.

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Firms at higher alert levels may request further resurgence support payments. Source: 1 NEWS

Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced on Friday that businesses will now be able to apply for a second Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) – a one-time payment meant to help businesses with fixed costs, like rent.

Robertson said the government was listening to concerns from the business community.

“We know that it is difficult and in some cases impossible for businesses to operate at high alert levels, and especially in Alert Level 4 lockouts,” he said.

RSPs are intended to help viable businesses facing reduced revenues as alert levels have been raised to level 2 or higher in any part of the country, regardless of the region in which the business operates. .

Applications for the next round of RSP will open on September 17th.

Auckland’s Queen Street is left empty while the city remains under Level 4 restrictions. Source: 1 NEWS

RSP eligibility criteria remain the same: the organization must have been operating for at least one month and have experienced a drop of at least 30% in revenue over a seven-day period due to increased restrictions related to the pandemic .

This decrease in income is compared to a typical seven-day income period in the six weeks preceding the increase to Alert Level 1.

Payment includes a base rate per company of $ 1,500, plus $ 400 per employee, up to a total of 50 full-time equivalents. This means that the maximum payout is $ 21,500.

Robertson said if Auckland remained at Alert Level 3 or 4 after Monday’s cabinet meeting, a third fortnight of wage subsidies would be triggered.

The program will be available until all of New Zealand returns to Alert Level 1 for one month.

He said more than 440,000 wage subsidy applications have been approved so far in the Delta outbreak, for a total of $ 1.7 billion.

The total value of wage subsidies and RSP funds distributed now stands at $ 2.2 billion for this latest outbreak, Robertson said.

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There is also growing support for replacing one-off payments with weekly payments. Source: 1 NEWS

However, hard-hit companies told 1News that the RSP was a “symbolic gesture” and a “drop in the ocean.”

There is now widespread support for making weekly one-off payments.

ACT small business spokesperson Chris Baillie said the government needs to do more for businesses.

“A business owner told us he had accumulated $ 200,000 in debt over the past few weeks. Others spoke of the personal toll it took on them and the stress of not being able to pay their bills or getting a full night’s sleep, ”he said.

“The government just does not seem to understand the pressure these companies are under through no fault of their own.

“What the government announced today is a start – but it won’t be enough for most businesses that still have outbound costs like rent, tariffs and insurance.”

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