Weekly Digest – 28 August 2020

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

4-Day Extension of Auckland Lockdown

The lockdown in Auckland, which had been originally scheduled to end on Wednesday, has been extended until Sunday night.  The city has been gradually going to Alert Level 2 restrictions from Monday.  Together with this extension is the introduction of mandatory mask wearing on public transport across the country.

NZ Strengthens Border Controls with Additional 500 Military Staff

Last week, New Zealand recorded its first locally transmitted COVID-19 case in 102 days, which put Auckland into a two-week Alert Level 3 lockdown.  As investigations into the source of the outbreak continue, an additional 500 defence force personnel will be deployed to monitor maritime borders and patrol quarantine hotels.

Investor Visa Applications Soar

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) reported an increase in the number of investor visa applications since the coronavirus outbreak.  North Americans accounted for more than half of the inquiries, followed by investors from Europe.

Applications from investors with at least $10 million have more than doubled in three months to August compared to the same period last year.  According to NZTE, the country’s response and strategy against the pandemic is behind the tenfold surge in interest among overseas investors.

This is good news as the world seems to be moving into what appeared to be recessionary times.

30,000 New Businesses Apply for Government Support

Around 30,000 businesses that weren’t getting the Wage Subsidy, Wage Subsidy Extension, or the Leave Support Scheme for their employees have applied for a special wage subsidy during the latest Alert Level 3 lockdown.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson reported that $108 million worth of payments had gone to struggling businesses through the Resurgence Wage Subsidy.

If you haven’t applied for this yet, you have until next Thursday to do so!  More information can be found here.  Alternatively, you can contact us so we can assess your eligibility or help you with your application.

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 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.

Mentoring Scheme 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.

Application for Wage Subsidy Extension

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.

To be eligible for this financial support, your business must have had at least a 40% revenue loss for a continuous 30-day period in the last 40 days before the application.  Eligible employers must also reapply for the Wage Subsidy Extension once their 12-week Wage Subsidy has ended.  You can read through the guidelines and apply online here.  If you have any questions about this program, contact us.

What’s your money-making idea?

If you’re anything like us, you’re always trying to find ways to bring in more money into your business or to identify a profitable niche for a new business that you’re looking to put up.  We know that this is easier said than done, so here are some tips that worked for us:

  • Know your passions and think about the pain points surrounding them.
  • Research the potentially profitable problems you’ve identified.  Verify if people are willing to pay and how much they are willing to shell out for products or services that solve these.
  • Deep dive into the data and do an analysis of your potential market.  By looking at the past and present trends, you’ll gain insights on how the future could look like and how your business can fit in.
  • Learn from your competitors.  You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but make sure to highlight your point of difference to your market.

Whether you are a new business owner or a relatively experienced one, it is exciting and challenging to come up with new money-making ideas.  However, if you need fresh insights for a winning business idea or some guidance in revamping your business plan, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.

Take Online Payments Safely

The pandemic has significantly changed our lives including the way we shop and make payments.  As e-commerce and online payments increasingly gain popularity, it is important for small businesses to adapt.

As a responsible business owner, you must ensure that your customers’ data are protected to gain their trust.  This article from Entrepreneur shares some security tips when accepting online payments.

  • Choose a secure eCommerce platform and processor.
  • Educate yourself and your employees.
  • Verify the transaction and more.

Avoiding COVID-19 Online Scams

Recently, there has been a significant increase in COVID-19-related online scams that steal your personal data, impersonate authorities, offer fraudulent medical goods and services, and make fake requests for charitable donations.  Below are some tips from Google Safety Center to keep you from falling victim to these scams.

  • Know how scammers may reach you– Aside from emails, they may also use text messages, automated calls, and malicious websites.
  • Check trusted sources directly– Scammers may pose as trusted and authoritative sources.  So directly visit reliable sources instead to get the latest factual information.
  • Be cautious of requests for personal or financial information, pause and evaluate before sharing– Do not provide confidential information such as logins, bank details, and addresses to suspicious or unverified sources.  Donate directly through non-profits.
  • Double-check links and email addresses before clicking– Fake links imitate established websites by adding extra random letters and numbers or words, so be extra careful and check before you click.
  • Search to see if it’s been reported– Copy and paste the email address, phone number, or suspicious portion of the message on your search engine to check if it has already been reported.
  • Add an extra layer of security to your account– Add two-factor authentications to your accounts for extra protection online.

If you encounter phishing pages, you can report it here.  For malicious software, you can report the site here.

Get in touch

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

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