Saturday, May 18, 2024

Additional Resurgence Support Payments to support business

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What the Government has announced today is a start – but it won’t be nearly enough for most businesses who still have outgoing costs like rent, rates and insurance, says ACT. Times photo Wayne Martin

Businesses affected by higher alert levels will be able to apply for further Resurgence Support Payments (RSP).

“The Government’s RSP was initially intended as a one-off payment to help businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. Ministers have agreed to provide additional payments to recognise the effects of an extended period of alert level restrictions,” Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Grant Robertson said.

“This will provide cashflow to businesses and support them in meeting their ongoing obligations as we come down Alert Levels and while Auckland remains at higher Alert Levels than the rest of the country.

“Applications for the next RSP will open on Friday September 17. Ministers have agreed that there will be another two payments after that, three weeks apart, so long as the conditions that trigger the RSP apply.”

“The payment and eligibility criteria to qualify for the RSP remain the same, including that those applying must experience at least a 30 per cent decline in revenue over seven days (for this payment commencing September 8) as a result of being at Alert Level 2 or higher.” Revenue Minister David Parker said.

The payment includes a core per business rate of $1500, plus $400 per employee, up to a total of 50 full-time equivalents (FTEs) which is a maximum payment of $21,500. Businesses with more than 50 FTEs can still apply but cannot get more than the maximum payment.

“The scheme will be available until all of New Zealand returns to Alert Level 1 for one month,” Parker said.

Inland Revenue encourages those applying to ensure the accuracy of the information they provide, as if it isn’t correct that will delay processing.

“The economy is operating above pre-Covid levels thanks to our strong public health response. These principles will continue to guide our approach to supporting the economy, businesses and workers at this challenging time,” Robertson said.

Businesses can apply for the payment by logging into their MyIR account. Further information can be found on the Inland Revenue website.

Meanwhile ACT’s Small Business spokesperson Chris Baillie said today the Government’s resurgence payment announcement will barely touch the sides for most businesses and more needs to be done.

“ACT is calling for the Resurgence Payments to be weekly under Level 4, Level 3 and for hospitality under Level 2,” Baillie said.

“This morning I have taken part in an unofficial Epidemic Response Committee run, by the ACT Party, focussing on the impacts on the hospitality industry.

“The stories are devasting. Business owners are taking a hammering, they’re doing all they can to keep paying their staff but are taking a massive hit themselves.

“One business owner told us that he’s amassed $200,000 in debt in the past few weeks. Others talked of the personal toll this has taken on them and the stress of being unable to pay their bills or get a full night’s sleep.

“The Government just doesn’t seem to understand the pressure these businesses are under through absolutely no fault of their own.

“What the Government has announced today is a start – but it won’t be nearly enough for most businesses who still have outgoing costs like rent, rates and insurance.

“There is much further to go if the Government wants to save livelihoods.”

For more information on Covid-19 business support measures, including full eligibility criteria:

https://www.ird.govt.nz/covid-19/business-and-organisations/employing-staff/financial-support/resurgence-support-payment

https://www.ird.govt.nz/covid-19/business-and-organisations/sbcs

https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/covid-19/wage-subsidy/index.html

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