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Reply To: Hi , firstly I saw an article the other day by Andy Hamilton regarding helping start-ups , and it made a lot of sense . Thanks ! My problem is that 12 months ago I started working on an idea for a job listing site . I have spent quite a bit of time and money getting most things in place . I was still working a lower-paying day job , and borrowed some money . Yes , I know , it was a punt , it was always going to be tight , but I felt it was worth a try .Then Covid hit , my income dropped to below my rent and loan repayments ( which total around $3000 a month ) and I have used up all my money , the site development ( mostly done in Australia ) has stalled , there are ongoing costs ( only a few hundred a month , a business phone line , internet , site hosting is on a dedicated server on contract , etc ) . Even things like travelling to Australia for one-on-one training , which has effectively already been part-paid for as part of the contract , won’t happen , both because of Covid , but also airfares and accom would be a problem now .The site never traded of course , I have a Business Number , but it has never paid me anything ( no wages )  , and it has never filed a GST return or had any income . Basically , I don’t seem to qualify for any Government help , I’m out of $$$ and the loan payments will start being dishonoured in a month . Total expenses ( which have been paid from my bank account ) are around $50k , but more than half of that is website costs , so around $20k has been spent in NZ , and therefore I may be able to claim a couple of thousand in GST back . Apart from that , which may stall things a month or so , any ideas ?By the way , I have talked to the 2 main lenders , no real help ( and some extra fees too if I refinance , to really rub it in ) .I appear to be one of those zombie businesses that has fallen through the rules — Covid has cost quite a bit , but as I wasn’t trading or employing anyone pre-lockdown , I don’t seem to qualify for anything . Thanks .

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Hi , I just thought I would add some updates , and a big warning .

I have tried to get my website up and running by borrowing more money , but I have been turned down by about 6 companies and banks .

I have emailed Stuart Nash and Andrew Bayly , the respective Small Business minister and opposition spokesperson , and got reasonable replies , but nothing positive . I also emailed Grant Robertson , and got quite a negative reply from his PA — if you don’t qualify , too bad , we aren’t a charity , we’ll give lots of money to businesses that probably don’t need it but we won’t help others , was the essential outline .

I have tried to sell the concept , have spent around $1000 on investor websites and Trade Me . Lots of lookers and tyre kickers , people who ask what the turnover is , etc . Having now spent $70k , I knew I wasn’t going to get my money back , but offers of $20 for the domain name and similar offers don’t help haha .

I still have my day job , and it is a real struggle to pay my bills and loans . So I thought I would talk to my main financier a 2nd or 3rd tier finance company where I am paying 18% . My payments are $909 a month for 5 years ( 60 months ) , and I have had the loan for just over a year .

Amount borrowed $29050 . Plus PPSR fee , Establishment fee , Broker fee , Payment Protection Insurance fee . Plus a monthly account fee . And 18% interest .

So after borrowing $29050 14 months ago , and paying over $10,000 , I now owe $32574.30 . I assume that isn’t the settlement fee , but also it doesn’t seem to be the full amount still owing ( that would be 46 x 909 ? ) .

Anyway , so I thought I’d ring them and see if I could refinance . ‘Certainly Sir , you have a good credit rating , and are you still working ? Thats great , yes , we can’ . That would be helpful , I thought . ‘We can refinance this back to 60 months , and it will reduce your payments to only $889 a month ‘ . Um , lets see , to reduce my payments by $20 a month ( $1200 over the 60 months , I will have to pay over $10,000 more ? ‘Well , there is a settlement fee , a new loan fee , a brokers fee , . . . . . . . ‘

My bank won’t even increase my $2000 credit card limit , and definitely won’t give a personal loan .

On one hand , I have no-one to blame as I signed the agreements , at that stage I had lots of interest and definite income , but then everything changed . Avoid credit ( and especially Finance Companies ) at all costs if you can .

I just got my latest statement