The Government has announced new measures aimed to provide relief for small and medium-sized businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Announced by Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, the new measures include:

  • Greater flexibility for affected businesses affected to meet their tax obligations
  • Measures to support commercial tenants and landlords
  • $3.1 billion tax loss carry-back scheme (estimated cost over the next two years)
  • $60 million estimated annual savings to business each year from changes to the tax loss continuity rules
  • $25 million in the next 12 months for further business consultancy support

Grant Robertson explained that the new measures aim to cushion the blow for businesses and workers and help businesses to stay solvent with the economic recovery as we emerge from this crisis.

The Restaurant Association New Zealand has noted that the latest announcements inadequately address some of the real challenges faced by small businesses and do not provide the actions many of its members were hoping to see. The association outlines some of the new measures announced today and what they mean for businesses, here.

The biggest shock for those in the industry is that the latest business support package has failed to help small businesses with big rent to pay.

The Government had promised to cushion the blow from level 4 lockdown, and the wage subsidy was helping with one major business expense, salaries. Now businesses hoped for some relief for their second major financial burden, rent. They did not get it.

The package extended the amount of time a tenant can be in arrears before their landlord can throw them out from 10 working days to 30, and it extended the time a landlord can not pay the mortgage before the bank can pull the plug from 20 to 40 working days for mortgaged land and 10 to 20 working days for mortgaged goods.

These are good things, but many small businesses owners are disappointed.

“The bigger issue is around relief from rent and outgoings, which in some cases are substantial,” noted Retailers Association chief executive Greg Harford.

“We need to see clear direction from government that rent relief should be applied, and the government needs to come to the party in terms of some sort of financial support help.”

For more news and information for the foodservice industry click here.

Access the official government Covid-19 website here.