News from NZ Government
The employee support subsidy for quake-affected businesses has been extended to support specific Wellington region businesses prevented from operating for several weeks due to building damage as a result of the November 14 earthquake.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Social Development Minister Anne Tolley say the assistance package will be available to businesses that cannot operate due to cordons put in place, and are unable to move and operate anywhere else.
“The situation in Wellington is different from that in Kaikoura because a state of emergency hasn’t been declared, and the city overall is functioning well. However a small number of retail and hospitality businesses have been prevented from trading with the public for an extended period because of the need to demolish buildings,” Mr Joyce says.
“The package will only apply to businesses such as retail and hospitality which have been prevented from operating and will be unable to do so for some time.”
“Some of those businesses will be able to operate from vacant premises nearby or operate from other branches in the same chain. This is for those who physically cannot move their fittings and can’t operate their businesses,” Ms Tolley says. “Businesses with continuity insurance will not be able to receive the subsidy.”
The support subsidy will be at the same rate as for businesses in other areas. It will cover up to eight weeks at a rate of:
• $500 gross per week for a full time employee ($4,000 per person);
• $300 gross per week for a part time employee ($2,400 per person);
• It will not be subject to GST (i.e. so employees get a higher net subsidy); and it will apply only for the period from when the company is prevented from operating i.e. until the cordon is lifted.
“At this stage we expect the package to apply to around a dozen businesses on Molesworth Street, 15-20 businesses in Tory Street, and a larger number of businesses in and around the Queensgate Mall in Lower Hutt,” Mr Joyce says.
Under the existing Kaikoura package, 59 businesses have so far received the employee subsidy and payments have totalled $606,400.
“We have set aside $7.5 million for the total business support package. Joint Ministers will review the scheme before Christmas once more information is available. Further funds will be made available if required.”
Anyone requiring information and support should call the Government Helpline on 0800 779 997.
More information is available here.