We’ve joined forces with Hutt City Council and the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce to form a Business Response Team. We’ve set up a page on huttvalleynz.com which is dedicated to supporting local business by providing a common place for services and information.
Businesses are also invited to join the Hutt Valley COVID-19 Business Support Facebook Group. This Facebook group has advice and information from businesses on how they are dealing with various aspects of the crisis. We also began approaching businesses to assess needs and will be continuing to follow this up over the coming weeks. For more information, go to www.huttvalleynz.com/covid-19-business-support/
There will be other needs and issues arising as time passes. Please talk to us about your concerns. You can call us on (04) 527 2169 or send us your queries through our Hutt Valley COVID-19 Business Responses form.
Our collaborative response across the Hutt Valley is giving us access to more resource than we otherwise would have to work for our local businesses.
Keep an eye on the site to stay up to date with webinars, advice, and tips. There is also a directory for local suppliers of safety equipment, signage, and perspex screens, etc
COVID-19 relief measures that support our businesses
On 9 April, Council agreed on 12 measures that are aimed at bringing relief to residents and businesses in light of the COVID-19 lockdown and its financial impacts. Relief measures that will help us to support businesses are included below.
In keeping with its intent of supporting the community through the impacts of COVID-19, Council has resolved to establish a ‘Recovery Fund’ of $1,000,000 in its budget for the 2020 – 2021 year. The purpose of the fund is to boost social, cultural, economic, and environmental wellbeing.
Nil increase to fees
Council decided that, unless unavoidable, we will maintain 2019 – 2020 fees and charges for the coming financial year, effectively a freeze on increases in fees and charges for one year. The draft Fees and Charges for 2020 – 2021 was amended to reflect no fee increases from 2019 – 2020 and was adopted by Council on 4 May. There are some unavoidable charge increases.
Refund licence fees
Council charges licence fees to hairdressers and food outlets. Most of these businesses have had to close during Alert Levels 3 and 4. Fees will be refunded to them for 2 months.
We have already loaded credit amounts on the accounts for the Upper Hutt registered businesses with food or hairdressing licences. At the end May, these businesses will receive a statement with the credit balance showing and a message explaining that the credit has been loaded due to the COVID-19 lockdown. For those businesses in this category that may prefer a physical refund from Council, please fill out our online application form.
Apply for a licence fee refund
Rent relief for tenants of Council properties
Council will excuse tenants of commercial properties it owns from paying rent while they are unable to open.
Defer amenity loan repayments
We’re allowing a repayment ‘holiday’ for amenity loan holders until they are able to generate revenue again.
Pay suppliers faster
Standard practice in the industry is for payments to be made on the 20th of the month following an invoice but we can help businesses—especially local and smaller ones—by paying weekly.
Business and community care
We’re going to strengthen support to businesses and the community through advice, information, networking, and opportunities. We’ve already joined up our initial response for the Hutt Valley, collaborating with Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce and Hutt City Council.
The following measure was agreed to in principle but requires further work by officers.
We’re looking at what opportunities may be available in the future to support developers.
Unite against COVID-19
The all of Government website includes advice and financial support for employers and sole traders— go to covid.govt.nz
If you are worried about the long-term impacts on your business as a result of COVID-19, or your ability to adapt to a new economic environment, the Thrive programme is for you.
Run by WellingtonNZ and Creative HQ, the Thrive programme is a series of interactive workshops that will equip you and your business with the skills and the practical pathway needed to rebuild, pivot, and grow your business. Applications are open until 25 May 2020 at the WellingtonNZ website.
Are you a food business that is reopening under Alert Level 3?
There are requirements food businesses must follow to ensure their food is safe for consumers. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has developed an easy way for businesses to meet these requirements so they can get up and running under Alert Level 3 even if they want to make changes to the way they operate.
Please go to New Zealand Food Safety on the MPI website for more information.
At Yours is a comprehensive food directory for the Wellington Region on which you can list your business, it is free to register and use, there are no commissions or ongoing charges.
You are invited to list your delivery/click and collect/product offering on the At Yours website. At Yours is a comprehensive one-stop directory of the Wellington region's food and beverage businesses offering click and collect, takeaway and contactless delivery during Lockdown Levels 3 and 2.
This is hosted on the Visa Wellington on a Plate (WOAP) website. At Yours is brought to you by the food lovers at Visa WOAP and presented in partnership with WellingtonNZ.
Login or register a new account to add your business—visawoap.com/users/login
Meal delivery rebate scheme
If you are delivering takeaways/food etc under Alert Level 3, WellingtonNZ has set up a meal delivery rebate scheme.For more information, go to WellingtonNZ.com.
Funding for business support
Through the Regional Business Partner Network, WellingtonNZ can connect you to professional advice through our COVID-19 Voucher scheme. The COVID-19 Voucher Funding covers access to:
- Financial advice and planning to help business owners get through COVID-19
- Business advice to help model cash-flow, staffing levels and understand financial plans considering their new business models. This will expand to marketing and legal services in the coming weeks
- One-on-one support and assistance with business continuity issues
- Business coaching to help business owners get through COVID-19
- HR advice to help with decisions regarding employees
For more information, go to: WellingtonNZ.com
Business continuity planning
A business continuity plan identifies how your organisation can keep its essential functions up and running during a time of disruption— go to getprepared.nz
It is important to be prepared and consider how this affects your business and obligations to your employees— go to retail.org.nz
Work and Income
If you've been affected by COVID-19, Work and Income may be able to provide financial support— go to workandincome.govt.nz
WorkSafe has advised that under COVID-19 Alert Levels 2 and 3 all businesses or organisations that are permitted to resume operations need to have a plan that sets out how they’ll operate safely. Go to worksafe.govt.nz for more information.
Are you a sports or community recreation organisation? Sport Wellington have a range of resources and guidelines for operation under Alert Level 2.
Follow Sport Wellington on Facebook.
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