Things are changing by the hour. The country is moving into unprecedented territory in response to COVID-19.

New Zealand now has 102 confirmed cases. While there are no confirmed cases on the Coast yet, many of our businesses have already been hit hard financially. Things are only going to become more difficult with new restrictions and the cancellation of the TranzAlpine service and closure of DOC huts.

The Government has announced a four-stage alert system for Covid-19, with New Zealand moving up to alert level 3 (Restrict) and will be moving to alert level 4 (Eleminate) in the next 48 hours..

This means COVID-19 is at a heightened risk and the disease is not contained. Range of measures include:

  • Travel in areas with clusters or community transmission limited
    Affected educational facilities closed
    Mass gatherings cancelled
    Public venues closed (e.g. libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, amusement parks)
    Alternative ways of working required and some non-essential businesses should close
    Non face-to-face primary care consultations
    Non acute (elective) services and procedures in hospitals deferred and healthcare staff reprioritised

Looking at what is unfolding across the world, these are prudent steps that are necessary to help limit the spread. To reduce our person-to-person contact, DWC will be closing its Greymouth office from today.

Our team will be working remotely and are fully committed to supporting our clients and business community through this challenging period. We remain only a phone call, video call or email away.

To help our business clients through this time we are reducing our commercial finance interest rates by 1% for those on a fixed rate. We are also getting in contact with all our commercial finance clients to assess their situation and offer support where it’s needed.

If your business is being impacted by COVID-19, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you.

It’s also important you talk to your bank, landlord, suppliers and accountant to get in front of cashflow issues early. And contact your insurance provider to see if you are eligible to receive any business interruption insurance.

After taking these steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, you will be eligible to apply for COVID-19 wage subsidies or leave payments through Work and Income.

We are hearing from local businesses that the application process has been relatively simple, with some already receiving payment.

However, there are some questions and grey areas that are coming up. Let us know if you experience any hurdles while applying. We are advocating for Coast businesses and working closely with the Ministry of Social Development to get greater clarification on any issues that arise.

At the end of the day, these support packages are there to help impacted businesses. Read the criteria and declaration information carefully, answer the form genuinely, and remember there are many people and organisations here to help.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has increased the Government Support scheme from $5.1b to $9.3b to provide wider support for businesses who were not adequately covered in the  support package.

In order to protect confidence in our banking system the Reserve Bank have announced a program to purchase $30B of NZ Government Bonds over the next year, a process known as quantitative easing. This follows similar moves around the world by other central banks. ANZ Bank have commented that the size of this program exceeded expectations and will go a long way in ensuring confidence in our banking system is retained and ensuring that financial markets retain their liquidity.

 

Information for businesses

Media Release: 23 March 2020