Friday, 1st May, 2020

“The Government’s announcement today of interest free loans for a year to small businesses impacted by Covid-19, together with the tax reforms providing more than $3 billion in tax relief is welcomed and will provide much needed support for small business.  This has been an area of focus and advocacy across Canterbury as the Chambers of Commerce work together to lobby government for additional support” said Wendy Smith.

The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme will provide assistance of up to $100,000 to firms employing 50 or fewer full time equivalent employees. The scheme will provide $10,000 to every firm and in addition $1800 per equivalent full time employee. Loans will be interest free if they are paid back within a year. The interest rate will be three per cent for a maximum term of five years. Repayments are not required for the first two years. 
 
“These announcements provide relief to many businesses across all sectors. It shows that central Government is listening to the needs of businesses during this challenging time, with tax and cashflow both key concerns for businesses.”

“We know that the cost of existing overheads is a huge burden for businesses and they now face increased costs of meeting strict health and safety requirements under COVID-19 coupled with lower productivity. 

Cashflow has always been a critical issue for businesses. By increasing access to cash, the Government is increasing small businesses ability to survive this crisis.”  
 
“We are extremely grateful to the Government for demonstrating decisive leadership to support businesses during this time.” 
 
“The other key issue is the timing of a transition to Alert Level 2 and this will be critical for the region’s economic recovery. We are eagerly awaiting updated guidelines on how to safely operate at level 2 so we can really get this economy moving.”