New Zealand considers additional COVID-19 support for firms
The New Zealand government is considering whether additional support for businesses is needed in the face of higher COVID-19 alert levels, said Finance Minister Grant Robertson.
Over 25,000 businesses have signed an Auckland Business Chamber petition calling for the government to provide more financial support to them, according to Stuff news.
“We have been asked to pause business so that [the] government can implement their elimination strategy for the good of New Zealand. A continuation of the resurgence package is not a big ask,” said Auckland Business Chamber chief executive Michael Barnett.
He added that this could be achieved without introducing a new policy, but by changing the frequency of the support payments from being a one-off payment to a weekly one.
The COVID-19 resurgence support payment aims to help businesses shoulder fixed costs like rent during higher alert levels. To qualify, applicants must experience at least a 30% decline in revenue over seven days as a result of the increase in alert levels, among other criteria.
If eligible, businesses would receive NZ$1,500 (US$1,069) plus an additional NZ$400 (US$285) per full-time equivalent employee.