Covid-19 – Information for Businesses

Friday 27 March 2020

Detailed information for businesses, employers and sole traders is available here.

Economic response package and eligibility

Government support for businesses affected by COVID-19 currently includes:

  • wage subsidy scheme
  • leave and self-isolation support
  • business cash flow and tax measures
  • business finance support loan and mortgage holidays
  • wider $12.1 billion package.

Wage subsidies will be available for businesses significantly impacted by COVID-19 including:

  • employers that are struggling to retain employees
  • sole traders
  • self-employed
  • existing businesses
  • registered charities
  • non-government organisations
  • incorporated societies
  • post settlement governance entities
  • new businesses less than a year old.

The subsidy is for 12 weeks. It is:

  • $585.80 per week for a full-time employee (20 hrs or more)
  • $350.00 per week for a part-time employee (less than 20 hrs).

More information on who qualifies for the wage subsidy, definitions for wage subsidy qualifications, and how to apply, can be found from Work and Income. You may also need a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) to apply.

COVID-19 business support  — Work and Income

NZBN  – New Zealand Business Number

Leave and self-isolation support

Workers and businesses have responsibilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The purpose of the COVID-19 leave and self-isolation scheme is to support workers financially to self-isolate, or while ill with COVID-19.

From 17 March 2020, the COVID-19 leave payment will be available to support people financially if they cannot work from home and:

  • need to self-isolate
  • can’t work because they are sick with COVID-19
  • can’t work because they are caring for dependents who are required to self-isolate or who are sick with COVID-19.

This is subject to change as we move to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 and we expect further announcements this week. More information on who qualifies for the leave payment, and how to apply, can be found from Work and Income. You may also need a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) to apply.

Mortgage holiday and business finance schemes

The specific details of this initiative are being finalised and agreed urgently and banks will make these public in the coming days.

  • a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been affected by the economic disruption from COVID-19.
  • The Government and the banks will implement a $6.25 billion Business Finance Guarantee Scheme for small and medium-sized businesses, to protect jobs and support the economy.

 Essential businesses

Find information about essential businesses.

Essential businesses include supermarkets, dairies, healthcare and pharmacies, vets, and utility suppliers. Businesses that supply the construction industry are open for trade customers only.

Government Helpline

This website is the fastest way to find help and advice about the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand. If you are unable to find what you need, and are not sure who to contact for help, call the free government helpline on:

0800 779 997 (8am–1am, 7 days a week) or on 0800 22 66 57 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday).

Covid-19 – Information for Businesses