New businesses left out of government lockdown support

Press release: The Labour Government must extend Covid support to new businesses established in the past six months, National’s Economic Development and Small Business spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“There’s no doubt that our small businesses are doing it tough right now as the Level 4 restrictions in lockdown bite,” he says.

“While businesses who need it are able to apply for assistance, this support is only available to sole traders and companies who have been in operation for more than six months.

“There are many examples of tradies and shopkeepers who face ongoing restrictions to trade while their bills continue to add up.

“There are a growing number of new businesses that were trading viably before the Level 4 restrictions came into force and who now need support to get through.

“It isn’t fair that if someone started a business seven months ago they can receive government support, but if they started a business six months ago they are left out in the cold.

“With no end in sight for those in Auckland, and the Government yet unable to say how long the rest of the country will be in Level 3, many businesses are struggling to pay their bills as a result of the loss of their income.

“Just because a business isn’t trading, doesn’t mean they don’t have to pay their rent, rates, insurance and other related costs. National MPs are receiving calls from business owners who face growing uncertainty and may be forced to shut their doors for good if nothing changes.

“The Government should make sensible changes to the scheme so that new businesses established before the Level 4 lockdown, who meet the criteria of a 30 per cent reduction in turnover, are eligible to apply for assistance from the start of the lockdown restrictions.”