COVID-19: wage subsidy and loan schemes broadened
The Government has decided to allow more businesses to benefit from the extended wage subsidy scheme. When the scheme was first announced, the beneficiaries of the scheme were to be businesses that had a revenue drop of at least 50%. On 5 June 2020, the Ministers of Finance, Small Business and Social Development announced that a drop of 40% or more would be sufficient for a business to qualify for the new eight-week scheme available from 10 June 2020. This means another 40,000 businesses will be eligible, with a total of 230,000 businesses considered likely to be eligible for the assistance in paying up to 910,000 workers.
There has also been an adjustment to the period of the revenue drop (which is compared to revenue of the comparable period last year). The revenue loss (of at least 40%) now must be for a 30-day period in the 40 days immediately prior to the application date (but beginning no earlier than 10 May 2020). Previously, the period was simply the 30 days before the application date.
The announcements also gave an extension of time (to 24 July 2020) for businesses to apply for the Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme. Loans made under this scheme are interest free if repaid within a year, and businesses have five years to pay them off, with no repayments required during the first two years. The Minister for Small Business, Stuart Nash, noted that more than $1.18 billion had already been disbursed to more than 70,000 small businesses under the cashflow scheme.
Source document: Beehive
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