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Reply To: Hi, I had just started a business before the pandemic. I think that there is a grant for any new business that is under a year old. Do you know if this is true? If it is can you show me where I can claim.Also i heard that there is a COVID-19 business helpline run by the government. Is this correct? What is the number?Thanks for your help.

Morena. This is not quite true, I am not aware of any new business support or programmes. If you have started before Covid-19 then there is a wage subsidy programme for you and your staff that is a 12 week support programme – that could be extended to 20 weeks – it is focused on helping businesses keep their people employed. It can include owners or sole operators. There is also a cash flow loan available from the IRD of $10,000 plus $1,800 per employee for up to 5 years – it is a loan and you pay interest on it but don’t have to make payments (principal or interest) in the first year – and you can apply if your business was started before (I think) 1 March 2020.

Yes, there is a helpline, see the below details – consider also Business Mentors as a place to get some help – just go to their site.

Details of business support – https://covid19.govt.nz/businesses-and-employees/businesses-and-services/
Helpline details – https://covid19.govt.nz/latest-updates/new-helpline-for-businesses/ – to find out more call 0800 500 362 (North Island), or 0800 50 50 96 (South Island).