We know elevated alert levels put a lot of added pressure on businesses. Find out what support is available to Auckland businesses below.
For information on general financial support available to all ratepayers during this time, see this article on OurAuckland.
Update 8 October 2021
The Government has announced its 3-Step plan to ease restrictions in Auckland under Alert Level 3. These changes have implications for hospitality business, and updated information can be found in the support for hospitality businesses section below.
For more information on the Government’s 3-Step plan, visit the Covid-19 website.
Rates support for businesses
If you are worried about paying rates due on your business property, there are options available to you to make life a bit easier. You can contact us on 09 301 0101 and ask to speak with our credit control team who can discuss arrangements with you.
There are various ways to pay your rates to suit you and your situation. These include direct debit, automatic payment, telephone banking and internet banking. With a direct debit payment, you can choose weekly, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly frequencies to suit you.
Please note, during COVID-19 Alert Levels 3 and 4 in-person payments at our service centres are not possible as our centres are closed. You can, however, pay your rates by cash or Eftpos at any PostShop that is able to operate at the current Alert Level. Check which PostShops are open on the NZPost website.
Government support for businesses
The Government offers various COVID-19 financial support schemes to businesses depending on your situation. These include the Resurgence Support Payment, Wage Subsidy Scheme as well as Tax and ACC support. Information on how to access this support can be found on the COVID-19 website.
Support for hospitality businesses
Under the Government’s 3-Step plan, Auckland hospitality businesses will be able to open in a more ‘normal’ way under Step 3. Hospitality venues like cafes, bars, and restaurants, can reopen with a limit of 50 people inside the premises.
To help businesses make use of outdoor space, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport are committed to fast-tracking new licences and extensions to food-only outdoor dining applications, which businesses can apply for now. A street trading licence is not required for using the area in front of the business for contactless pick-ups.
Fees for new applications or extensions to existing street trading licenses and street trading rents will be waived while in Alert Level 2 or higher, for a maximum of six months. New application fees and street trading rents will resume once Auckland is no longer in Alert Level 2 or higher, or will be reassessed after six months.
Existing and new street trading licences issued under council’s Trading and Events in Public Places Bylaw are extended again this lockdown without cost. This will be for a period equal to the duration of trading restrictions under Alert Levels 4, 3 and 2, to a maximum of six months.
For information on how to access a fast-tracked new street trading license, extensions to food-only dining applications or an automatic extension to the expiry date for existing outdoor dining licenses visit this OurAuckland page or make an application online.
Guidance and advice from Auckland Unlimited
If you’d like to speak with someone about all the options for support available to you and your business, you can contact a free helpline service for Auckland businesses. The helpline offers expert business advice, as well as guidance on accessing government support. Call the team on 0800 500 362.
Auckland Unlimited’s Business Toolkit provides free resources and tools to help Auckland businesses manage the impacts of these changing economic conditions, including options for government financial support for businesses impacted.
For information on broader support available, beyond the added pressures of COVID-19, see the Auckland Unlimited website for access to business clinics, R&D funding, coaching and training opportunities.
The team can also connect businesses with co-funded coaching/training via the Regional Business Partner (RBP) network’s Management Capability Development Fund.
Business surveillance testing
Essential workers who are allowed to continue working in Alert Level 3 are at higher risk of contracting the virus, as they mix with a lot more people. For this reason, The Auckland Regional Public Health Service is encouraging asymptomatic workplace testing to help rule out any undetected community spread, and help the region move down alert levels as quickly and safely as possible.
The Auckland Regional Public Health Service are asking these workers, who have no COVID-19 symptoms, to undertake two COVID-19 tests at least five days apart over the next two weeks. They can go back to work while awaiting their results and do not need to isolate. For more information on business surveillance testing, whether you should be participating and for testing locations, visit the ARPHS website.
Help for navigating your business through crisis
COVID-19 is the crisis that is front of mind for most of our Auckland whanau right now, but crises can also come in the form of extreme weather events, or unforeseen financial challenges.
Auckland Emergency Management has put together a two-part webinar series to help businesses navigate their way through crises. New Zealand business resilience experts share practical advice on managing the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on small businesses.
You can view the webinars on the Auckland Emergency Management Youtube channel.