Are you getting what's available to you to get you through the downturn? Surprisingly there are people who are unaware of what's available or how to access for business support.

I encourage you to talk to your business peers to seek advice, and watch the official MSD and IRD pages so that you can access the information that you need

New Zealand businesses have now borrowed more than $1.3 billion through the Government's small business cash flow loan scheme.

The scheme allows businesses with 50 or fewer fulltime equivalent employees, who have been affected by Covid-19, to apply for $10,000 plus $1800 per fulltime equivalent employee.

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The interest rate is 3 per cent but if you pay it back within a year, no interest is charged at all.

This scheme has been much more popular than the government-backed loans that are also on offer. That's probably in part because the interest rate is much more attractive and also because there are fewer hoops to jump through to get this money.

The deadline to apply has now been pushed back to July 24, which gives extra time for those considering whether to put their hands out.

There is anecdotal evidence of businesses feeling as if they shouldn't ask for this money — as if they are wondering whether they deserve it. But if you are struggling, it could make a big difference. If you haven't done any financial planning for the what ifs then how do you know?

If it turns out that you don't need the money, you can repay it at the end of 12 months with no penalty.

It's in everyone's interests that as many New Zealand businesses get through this downturn in as good a shape as possible.

The second tranche of the wage subsidy is also becoming available, for businesses who have had a revenue drop of 40 per cent. This runs for eight weeks.

If you're not sure what might be available to you, get in touch with your accountant or other business advisers. Don't let valuable assistance go to waste.

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Jeremy Tauri is an associate at Plus Chartered Accountants.