Workplaces and business operation under Alert Level 2
The following has been taken from the Government’s COVID-19 website.
As of Thursday 14 May 2020 Aotearoa is now at Alert Level 2.
At Alert Level 2 businesses can operate if they’re able to do so safely.
Engaging with customers
At Alert Level 2 businesses can have customers on their premises if they can meet public health requirements. This means businesses should:
- have a contact tracing system in place to record everyone who you interact with on your premises
- maintain physical distancing of 1 metre between groups of customers
- not have groups larger than 10 people
- maintain a 2 hour time limit for groups to be on your premises.
Services can also be provided on customers’ premises, for example, cleaning and home help.
This means that most businesses can open their premises to the public, including:
- cafes, restaurants, and bars for dining
- hardware, gardening, and clothing retailers
- butchers, bakeries, and fishmongers.
Hospitality businesses should keep groups seated, separated, and use a single server if possible. This means each group has one server, though servers can each serve more than one table.
Work involving close personal contact
For some businesses, close personal contact is required to deliver a service. This includes:
- home help providers.
These businesses can operate if they have measures like:
- have a robust contact tracing system in place
- maintain good hygiene practices
- minimise contact to the extent possible.
Specific guidance for key sectors is being developed by Government and will be available soon.
Doing business safely
The key public health requirements stay the same at Alert Level 2. Businesses should maintain hygiene measures, including physical distancing, hand washing and regularly cleaning surfaces.
All businesses are encouraged to use alternative ways of working if possible. This means businesses that don’t normally have customers on their premises could continue to have staff work from home.
If workers are sick with symptoms of COVID-19, they should stay home.
Golden rules for business at Alert Level 2
Do everything you can to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at work — we all have a part to play in keeping each other safe.
- COVID-19 is still out there. Play it safe.
- All businesses can operate if they can do so safely. Alternative ways of working are still encouraged where possible.
- Talk with your workers to identify risks and ways to manage them.
- Ask everyone, workers, contractors and customers, with cold or flu-like symptoms to stay away from your premises.
- Keep groups of customers 1 metre apart.
- Keep contact-tracing records of anyone who will have close interaction (workers, contractors or customers).
- Reduce the number of shared surfaces, and regularly disinfect them.
- Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
Travel and transport
Many businesses require travel. You can travel, but make sure you do it in a safe way.
COVID-19 is a disease you can spread without knowing you have it. You can travel around the country if you follow good personal health measures. You will need to keep records of what travel services you use and keep track of who you have been in contact with. You should keep your distance from groups of people you don’t know. You should minimise the number of places you stop on the way to your destination.
You must not travel to events which do not meet the requirements for gatherings at Alert Level 2.
Tips for minimising risk while travelling:
- Try to limit taking public transport, or use at off-peak times.
- Avoid sitting next to someone you don’t know, or standing.
- If you’re flying or taking other forms of transport that involve bookings, follow the physical distancing instructions from your transport operators.
- You must not travel if you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, awaiting a test, or if you need to self-isolate.
13 May 2020
COVID-19 Business Support - new 1-1 Advisory funding
The Government has allocated additional funding to the Regional Business Partner Network to support New Zealand businesses and service providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Covid-19 Business Advisory Funding will provide support in areas such as:
Business Strategy and Continuity Planning (continuity creation; scenario planning; diversification)
Finance and Cashflow Management (integrated cashflow; modelling; assisting with bank re-financing; budgeting and pricing structures)
Health and Wellness (resilience capability; stress management)
The above services must be delivered prior to 30 June 2020.
Have fewer than 100 full time equivalent employees;
Are registered for GST in New Zealand;
Are operating in a commercial environment;
Are registered with a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN);
Are a privately owned business or are a Māori Trust or incorporation under the Te Ture
Whenua Māori Act 1993 or similar organisation managing Māori assets under multiple
Have completed a discovery assessment with an RBP Growth Advisor who will then
make a determination on whether a business will receive 1-1 Advisory funding;
The business must demonstrate, with tangible evidence, how they have been
negatively affected by COVID-19 and display how this funding will improve and/or
guide them through this crisis; and
RBP Growth Advisors must be satisfied this funding will be beneficial to the customers
long term sustainability.
Providers for the above services must be listed in NZTE’s ‘marketplace’ (under the ‘Service Categories’ select the ‘COVID-19 Support’ option to check those providers who are approved for the above).
Find out more about the Regional Business Partner Network and the services they offer.
New Government loan scheme
1 May 2020
The Government will provide interest free loans for a year to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 economic shock to support their immediate cashflow needs.
The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme will provide assistance of up to $100,000 to firms employing 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.
Loans will be interest-free if they are paid back within a year. The interest rate will be 3% for a maximum term of five years. Repayments are not required for the first two years.
Applications will open on 12 May and be managed by Inland Revenue.
Business Support Information for Papatipu Rūnanga
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu remains committed to supporting Ngāi Tahu ventures and entrepreneurs.
The Tribal Economies Team have produced some information sheets to help support whānau businesses in response to the evolving impact of COVID-19.
Also see the Ngāi Tahu website for the latest information and resources.
Check out the Wage Subsidy Calculator available on the Panel Trade Chartered Accountant’s website - it’s been created to help businesses better understand wage subsidies.
Regional Business Partner Network
You might be wondering how you are going to get through this tricky time and what support is available to you?
The Regional Business Partner Network has been given funding to support business through COVID-19.
Icehouse provides support for small businesses and can help you with:
- Human Resources – You may be struggling with COVID-19-related employment law obligations with respect to restructuring, redundancy and change of work hours.
- Health and Wellness – Learn how to deliver positive messaging, stay connected through remote channels and how to access EAP assistance programmes.
- Business Continuity Planning – Create contingency plans with your designated coach to help your business get through the next few months and build team readiness and resilience. Even discover how to delegate when an owner is incapacitated.
- Finance and Cashflow Management – Undertake a high-level financial analysis of the key numbers in your business such as cash flow, payroll and accounts receivable/payable.
Businesses will be able to access $2000, with the potential of up to $5000 (ex gst) in funding to fully fund advice in the areas above.
Funding will initially be $1.5 million. The RBP hope to distribute this fund to as many businesses as possible. This will be managed by the growth advisors and will be at their discretion.
Businesses will need to have meet with an RBP Growth Advisor and registered on the RBP Platform to access this support. Businesses will need to meet existing eligibility criteria:
- Have undergone an assessment with a Regional Partner (i.e.: Growth Advisor);
- Have fewer than 50 full time equivalent employees;
- Are registered for GST in New Zealand;
- Are operating in a commercial environment; and
- Are a privately owned businesses, or are a Maori Trust or incorporation under the Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 or similar organisation managing Maori assets under multiple ownership.
Check out the Icehouse website for more information.