A Paihia tourism operator is welcoming the Government's support package for coronavirus-hit businesses, saying it will allow him to hang on to key staff through a tough winter ahead.
Flying Kiwi Parasail owner Rich De Rosa expects to be hard hit by a ban on cruise ships until at least June 30 and companies such as Contiki suspending all bus tours.
On Tuesday, before the government announced its $12.1 billion relief package, De Rosa told the Advocate he was hoping for a wage subsidy scheme and a delay in provisional tax demands.
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Hanging on to core staff through winter, in particular a skipper he'd had for 16 years, was critical to his business, he said.
The Government package centres on wage subsidies of up to $585 a week if a business can show the virus has hit its income by at least 30 per cent. Also included are business tax changes, an extra $25 a week for beneficiaries and a boost in winter energy payments.
De Rosa said he was impressed with the speed and scale of the relief measures.
''The biggest thing for us, and the thing that will help us out immediately, is wage subsidies. It looks they want to pay out pretty quickly, which is critical,'' De Rosa said.
''It is short period, it's only 12 weeks, but I believe that's just for an initial period because they wanted to get something out quickly.''
The wage subsidy scheme was capped at 20 employees but with just three permanent staff De Rosa said he was confident of getting through winter.
''Big companies are going to chew through that pretty quickly but for small operators it's definitely a quick bail out. Even if we have just an average domestic season, with that wage subsidy we'll be fine. I'm prepared to go into our reserves to top up wages if necessary.''
''For such an immediate response I'm pretty impressed. It's fast, it's proactive and it's a lot of money. They're saying they can get the money out pretty much straight away so that's fantastic.''
De Rosa said details about tax changes were limited but it looked like the government was planning to postpone provisional tax until 2021.