NZ Government extends the small business cashflow (loan) scheme

The cashflow loan scheme provides one-off loans to support the cash flow needs of small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

With the wage subsidy packages no longer available, the Government has made changes to the loan scheme to support businesses over the longer term.

The scheme, which was due to expire at the end of the year, has been extended to 31 December 2023. Businesses may need to access the scheme at different times, so the scheme will continue to provide cashflow support if times get hard.

Applications for the loan can now be made up to 31 December 2023, an extension of 3 years.

The interest free period has also been extended from one year to two years, with no interest to be charged if the loan is repaid within 2 years.

Restrictions on how the loan can be used have been eased. Businesses are now able to use the loan to invest in their business as well as covering core operating costs.

The cashflow loan scheme is for businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees. They must have been in business on 1 April 2020 and have experienced a 30% decline in revenue as a result of COVID-19.

The maximum amount that can be borrowed is $10,000 plus $1,800 per full-time employee. According to Government figures, around 100,000 businesses have received the loan, with the average value of each loan around $17,000.

The Government has asked for advice on some of the existing aspects of the loan scheme, so further changes to the scheme may be announced at a later stage.