Social distance the new business norm as Covid-19 response reaches Alert Level 4

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Cat Mules

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New Zealand’s small businesses are likely to be considering their next steps for business continuity as the nation readies itself for a month’s formal lockdown, starting 00:00 tonight.

New Zealand’s state of emergency follows suit with other countries struck by Covid-19, including Australia, Canada and Vanuatu, in attempts to flatten the infection curve and minimise pressure on public systems caring for patients.

Now at Level 4 Alert, only businesses essential to the provision of life’s necessities may remain open. This means closed doors and at-home working for many in New Zealand’s backbone small business economy – and a need to think about immediate- and long-term business planning.

Expansions to the government financial aid package were announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson on Tuesday afternoon, to cushion the economic blows of Covid-19. The scheme is likely to be well-received by New Zealand business amid decreasing business confidence reflected in ANZ’s March Business Outlook Survey. Half of businesses expected general conditions to worsen in the year ahead, with responses more negative once Covid-19 hit the headlines.

The Business Guarantee Scheme will be eligible for businesses with turnover between $250,000 and $80 million, and includes loan of up to $500,000 for a term of up to three years.

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Cat Mules

Umbrellar's Digital Journalist, coming from a background in tech reporting and research. Cat's inspired by the epic potential of tech and helping kiwi innovators share their success stories.


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Microsoft is a technology company whose mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more. We strive to create local opportunity, growth, and impact in every country around the world.

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Social distance the new business norm as Covid-19 response reaches Alert Level 4

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