Weekly Digest – 15 July 2020

Hello for another week, we hope you and your family are well. Here is the latest edition of our Weekly Digest, read on for all the details and get in touch if you have any questions.

PM Announces COVID-19 Re-Emergence Plan

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden’s speech this week mentioned a COVID-19 re-emergence plan aimed at keeping the coronavirus under control. One key thing the government will do is localise its response in the hopes of avoiding a nationwide lockdown. That means the alert level system we’re used to will be used in a localised fashion to ring-fence any cases, while keeping as much of the economy open and running as possible. You can find her full speech here.

Mentoring Scheme for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses

On Tuesday, the Economic Development and Small Business Ministers announced a further $40 million for the Regional Business Partner Network, on top of the $15 million invested since March.

The Regional Business Partner Network gives business owners access to advice and resources on business continuity planning, finance and cashflow management, HR issues, and sector-specific concerns amid the COVID-19 crisis. You can find more details in this article from Treasury.

If you’re looking for ways to adapt your business, get in touch with us. We’ll help you take stock and find opportunities to improve.

Connecting Employers with People Looking for Work

If you’re looking for great talent – there’s no better time than right now! With many skilled workers out of a job, you may want to use this time to hire.

If you need help hiring new employees, Work and Income offers free recruitment services. You can advertise jobs for free and easily access work-ready people with skills to suit all kinds of jobs. You can also talk to them about tailoring a recruitment plan to meet your business needs.

Running a Business in the Post-Pandemic World

They say the worst of times can bring out the best in people– and this is also true for businesses. Last week, we put businesses showing resilience in the face of adversity in the spotlight, and shared the creative ways they serve their customers and communities amid the COVID-19 crisis.

This week, we talk about the hallmarks of an organisation designed for speed, as outlined by McKinsey & Company (see page 40). Below is a list of characteristics of operating models they’ve identified that result in faster speed to market, increased customer responsiveness, greater efficiency, and enhanced employee satisfaction. These characteristics will help companies stay competitive in the post-pandemic business environment:

  • Flatter organisations with less hierarchy and streamlined decision rights
  • Faster information flows and decision-making, powered by embedded data and analytics
    • As number-crunchers – we love this one!
  • Cross-functional teams collaborating to tackle common missions through test-and-learn approach
  • Flexible ways of working, including affinity for hybrid remote/ in-person teams
  • Dynamic allocation of talent deployed against mission-critical priorities
  • Agile, resilient talent able to move fast, adapt to change, and continuously learn

This Forbes article also shares tips on how to future-proof your business for a post-pandemic workplace, including:

  • Making flexibility as a core benefit
  • Upgrading equipment and investing in technology
  • Prioritising employee health and wellness
  • Increasing communication
  • Investing in management development
  • Creating a sustainable company culture

The future of businesses will no longer be determined by what has worked, but instead, what will work in the post-pandemic world. While the “when” and “how” of the end of the pandemic remain unknown, reimagining your organisation and re-evaluating the way you work can help you rise to the occasion and lead your business as the “new normal” we hear so much about takes shape.

If you want to talk about your specific situation, please get in touch with us and we’ll help you work out a strategic plan.

Government Loan Applications Extended

The government is offering one-off loans to small businesses employing 50 or fewer full-time employees, sole traders, and self-employed individuals, that have been affected by COVID-19 to support their cashflow needs.

The Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme means you can get financial assistance of up to $100,000 and an additional $1800 per equivalent full-time employee. Repayments are not required for the first two years, but if the loan is paid back within a year, there will be no interest.

The government has extended this loan until the end of the year. For those who haven’t applied for this government loan yet, you can check your eligibility here or you can get in touch with us so we can assist you with your application.

Application for Wage Subsidy Extensions are ongoing

Applications for the Wage Subsidy Extension are open until 1 September 2020. This initiative is aimed at supporting employers, including the self-employed, who have been significantly hit by COVID-19. Under this scheme, the wages of your employees will be covered over an 8-week period.

To be eligible for this financial support, your business must have had at least a 40% revenue loss for a continuous 30-day period in the last 40 days before the application. Eligible employers must also reapply for the Wage Subsidy Extension once their 12-week Wage Subsidy has ended. You can read through the guidelines and apply online here. If you have any questions about this government program, contact us.

Contact Tracing

Everyone is encouraged to keep track of who you’ve seen and where you’ve been through the COVID Tracer app to assist with contact tracing if necessary. As of 14 July, the app has had 595,400 registrations and the next update to the app will be released at the end of this month to make it a more comprehensive contact tracing tool and increase the number of people who can use it.

You can help customers in maintaining their “digital diary” by displaying a QR code poster.

Get your QR Code Poster

Businesses can get their official NZ COVID Tracer QR code posters through the new self-service webform to support contact tracing with the NZ COVID Tracer app. A valid New Zealand driver’s licence is required to use this service. However, if you have a large number of locations or do not have a driver’s licence, you can email a completed template to the Ministry of Health. More information can be found here.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.