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Streamlined business package vital for SME survival - MYOB

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

SME businesses around the country will welcome today’s announcement of targeted relief from the Government in response to coronavirus but how it is delivered will be crucial to its success, says leading tech company MYOB.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, which is already sending shockwaves through the local economy, the Government today announced a $12.1 billion package of business stimulus. The package includes a wage subsidy of $585 per week for eligible fulltime workers for employers who suffer a 30% decline in revenue, a COVID-19 sick leave scheme and tax changes designed to free up cashflow.

MYOB NZ Country Manager Ingrid Cronin-Knight says SMEs will welcome the Government’s decisive action and the speed at which it has been able to respond to the unprecedented crisis.

"Today’s announcement sends a strong signal that small and medium sized businesses and the Kiwis they employ will be supported and that the Government will continue to invest in the local economy," says Ingrid Cronin-Knight.

"This is great news for the country’s half a million SMEs, which sit at the heart of our local economy."

However, Ms Cronin-Knight says how the package will be delivered is crucial, with clarity on how businesses can demonstrate eligibility.

"Rapid, targeted delivery of this package is key," says Ingrid Cronin-Knight. "This investment must be put into the hands of small businesses as quickly as possible, to help them pay staff and suppliers, and maintain cashflow."

"Our experience over two decades of working with local businesses tells us that cashflow is going to be the biggest issue in ensuring the survival of SMEs. It’s vital we get this process right so we can ensure businesses are getting the urgent help they need now."

"From the business side, SME operators need to focus on communication - talking to their banks and financial advisors about how they can help to even out cashflow bumps and restructure debt, while employers should be having conversations with their staff about any shared solutions the business can come up with to reduce cost."

"It will also be timely to review any spending and evaluate future projects, with a view to seeing whether you can defer any costs."

"But most importantly, in this time we need to focus on health and wellbeing. Employers need to be mindful not only of the impacts of the virus but also the risks of stress, not only for their staff but also for themselves."

"One of the ways to do this is to take action. Put a plan in place early to take control of the things you can, get help - including from the Government’s investment provisions - where you can, and try to ensure you maintain perspective and a factual view on what is happening."

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