Weekly Digest – 5 January 2022

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. We hope you and your family have all had a great time during the festivities! Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help you have a great start into the new year.

What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters

The Pfizer vaccine is being used in New Zealand for boosters, regardless of what vaccine was used for earlier doses. It is different from the third primary dose recommended for immunocompromised individuals. Those who are eligible for a third dose can also get a booster dose 6 months after receiving their last dose.

When can you get your booster?

  • The required gap between the second dose and booster was shortened from 6 months to 4 months.
  • You can either go to a walk-in vaccination centre from 5 January or book in via Book My Vaccine. Slots will be available from 17 January.
  • You can also call COVID-19 Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am to 8pm, seven days a week) if you can’t book online.

More information such as the potential side effects of boosters, vaccine mandates, and vaccine passes for boosters can be found here.

Travel Rules for 2022

The government has announced changes in travel rules to continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Some of the key changes include:

  • The phased border reopening will be delayed to the end of February to give more New Zealanders the chance to receive a booster dose.
  • All stays in MIQ are extended to 10 days instead of 7 days followed by the requirement to self-isolate at home for 3 days after leaving MIQ.
  • Currently, there are no countries classified as very high risk.
  • From 7 January, all travellers entering New Zealand will need to provide a negative pre-departure test 48 hours before travelling, instead of 72 hours.

More information can be found here.

More Jobs in the Arts and Culture Sector

The government’s Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme has helped protect the cultural sector from the worst impacts of COVID-19. According to a report, up to 30 June 2021, the sector has created over 1,500 jobs in the Arts and Creative sector.

$20,000 Government Fund to Support Fire-hit Waiharara Community

The government will contribute $20,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support those most affected by the fires in Waiharara in the Far North. While no homes had been destroyed in the fire, there were still significant impacts that would need to be addressed.

How to Get ‘My Vaccine Pass’

The government has launched its vaccine pass or certificates, which allows New Zealanders to download proof that they are fully vaccinated.

The “My Vaccine Pass” will take the form of a QR code that can be shown digitally or on printed paper, allowing venues to check whether a person has been vaccinated or not.

Once you are fully vaccinated, you can access My Covid Record, and make a My Health Account via this website. You will need an email address, password, and proof of identity to create an account.

Support available to you

Work and Income has a Find COVID-19 Support tool to help you find the support options you’re eligible for.

Change in Leave Support Scheme

The Leave Support Scheme is now a weekly payment, instead of a two-week payment amid the change in the periods of self-isolation.

This scheme is available to employers and the self-employed to help pay their employees who have been advised to self-isolate because of COVID-19 and can’t work at home during that period.

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is paid at the rate of:

  • $600.00 a week for full-time workers who were working 20 hours or more a week.
  • $359 a week for part-time workers who were working less than 20 hours a week.

You can learn more about it here.

Events Transition Support Scheme Launched

The Events Transition Support Scheme has been opened from this week which will cover 90% of unrecoverable costs for major events cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic. It will apply to live, in-person paid events with over 5,000 attendees from 17 December until 3 April 2022.

Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme

If you employ 50 or fewer staff, you may be able to apply for the Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme. This is a one-off 5 year loan where you can borrow a maximum of $10,000 plus $1,800 per full-time-equivalent employee within your business.

  • When applying for the loan, you need to be able to declare that your business is viable.
  • Your business must have experienced a minimum 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue over the period of a month, compared with the same month last year.
  • Applications are open until 31 December 2023 through myIR. If your business does not have a myIR account, you will need to create one to apply.

Loans will be interest free if they are paid back within 2 years. The interest rate is 3% for a maximum term of 5 years.

COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment

The Short-Term Absence Payment is available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay employees who cannot work from home while they wait at home for a COVID-19 test result. This is a one-off payment of $359 for each eligible worker. You can find the details here.

Kiwi Business Boost Tool

The Government has funded specialist consultancy support services to provide advice to businesses who need it. You can use the Kiwi Business Boost Tool to find out what services are available in your region.

The Treasury website’s COVID-19 Economic Response Measures can also provide more information on the range of support available to businesses.

5 Ways to Beat Inflation

Business owners will encounter a lot of opportunities and face hurdles in 2022. One of the greatest challenges is likely to be inflation due to the increase in national debt, among other factors. This Forbes article shares some tips on how entrepreneurs can fight back.

  1. Do more with less. Many have improved their financial discipline due to the pandemic. Continue to cut waste and find more ways to do more with less. After cutting waste, focus on building high-margin products and services.
  2. Seek more low-cost financing and cut financing costs. Government financing can be a great source of cheap financing for business.
  3. Raise more internal financing. Improve your cash flow.
  4. Use smart driver-focused sales. One of the biggest problems in business is getting sales and spending too much to get it. Learn how to sell more with less.
  5. Make your strategy finance-smart. Evaluate the financial impact of your business strategy and adjust if necessary.

Need more personalised business advice? Get in touch with us today so we can discuss your specific concerns.

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