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Government Loans for Small Businesses

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

After a disappointing response from banks in regards to COVID-19, the government has announced that they will provide interest free loans for a year to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 economic shock to support their immediate cashflow needs and meet fixed costs.  This is known as the Small Business Cashflow (Loan) Scheme (SBCS).

In summary:

Eligible Business and Organisations:

  • if you included all your employees in the wage subsidy application, you are eligible for the SBCS if your wage subsidy was $351,480 or less (this equates to 50 full-time employees)
  • if you have received the wage subsidy only for some of your employees, or
  • if you did not apply for the wage subsidy but are eligible for a wage subsidy of $351,480 or less if you were to apply for all your employees.

NB: Commonly owned groups of business and organisations will be treated as a single firm when applying the eligibility cap of 50 full-time-equivalent employees and for the purposes of assessing the available loan amount.


  • Is up to $100,000 with businesses that have 50 or less full time employees (FTE)
  • Is $10,000 per business, plus an additional $1,800 per FTE

Example below:

  • The loans will be interest free, if paid back within a year
  • After a year, the  interest rate will be set at 3% for a maximum term of five years
  • Repayments are not required for the first two years

Applying for the SBCS:

In order to apply for the SBCS, as well as accepting usual T & C’s from the IRD, you will also need to confirm the following:

  • their business or organisation is experiencing a minimum 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue from January 2020 to June 2020 as defined in the wage subsidy scheme
  • their business or organisation existed before 1 April 2020
  • their business or organisation is viable and ongoing, has a plan to ensure it remains viable and ongoing, and there is evidence that Inland Revenue can use to check this
  • the loan will be used to pay for core operating costs (including, but not limited to, rent, insurance, utilities, supplier payments or rates)
  • the loan will not be passed through to the shareholders or owners of the business or organisation, for example, by a dividend or a loan to the shareholders or owners

The process is going to administered by the IRD, and they will be taking applications on-line from 12 May 2020 to 12 June inclusive.  To apply for the Loan you will need a MYIR account AND your business must have an NZBN number.  If your organisation does not have an NZBN number you will need to obtain one first.  Companies and organisations that already appear on a government register should already have an NZBN number, however if you are a sole trader, trust or partnership you will more than likely need to apply.  You can apply here.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your DPA expert to discuss your needs, we can help you decide whether an interest free loan is going to benefit your business, keeping in mind the operative word “loan” as this will need to be paid back.  At this stage, we are unable to apply for the SBCS on behalf of our clients, but we can assist you with the process and answer any questions you may have.

You can read the full information from the IRD website here.


Source: Wolters Kluwer & IRD