Small business government support in New Zealand

Small business government support

The New Zealand Government is continuing some longer-term support for small businesses and introducing new measures to help businesses impacted by recent lockdowns.

At a glance

  • While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy as at the time of publication – in the evolving situation, support packages and eligibility criteria are likely to change, and information contained on this page may not be complete or may have changed.
  • Remember to check your eligibility requirements on the New Zealand Business Government’s website.
  • This is a summary for general information only, none of the material is or should be regarded as advice of any kind.

Whether as part of the bigger picture of COVID-19 recovery or in immediate support of small businesses facing the impact of new lockdowns, we have collected some key information regarding the main packages available to help you understand which businesses may be eligible.  

Along with checking out our guide below, it’s also important to check your eligibility on the on the New Zealand Business Government’s website to ensure you’re working with the most up-to-date information. 

Wage Subsidy Scheme

The Wage Subsidy is available to eligible businesses, organisations and the self-employed impacted by the move to Alert Level 4 on 17 August 2021. 

To reflect higher wage costs since the scheme was first used in March 2020 the payments have been increased to: 

  • $600 per week per full-time employee 
  • $359 per week per part-time employee 

Applications open on Friday 20 August 2021 for two weeks. 

The NZ Business Government Work and Income website has more information on the Wage Subsidy Scheme. 

Resurgence Support Payment

The Resurgence Support Payment is a payment to help support viable and ongoing businesses or organisations due to a COVID-19 alert level increase to level 2 or higher.  

A business or organisation must have experienced at least a 30% drop in revenue or a 30% decline in capital-raising ability over a 7-day period, due to the increased COVID-19 alert level. 

Applications for the alert level increase announced on 17 August will open on 24 August 2021. 

The NZ Government Inland and Revenue website has more information on the Resurgence Support Payment.

COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme provides a payment to businesses to pay their workers who meet certain health criteria, e.g., they have COVID-19. This may also be available if you’re self-employed. 

The Leave Support Scheme is paid as a 2-week lump sum per eligible employee. The Leave Support Scheme is paid at a flat rate of: 

  • $585.80 a week for full-time workers who were working 20 hours or more a week 
  • $350 a week for part-time workers who were working less than 20 hours a week. 

The NZ Government Work and Income website has more information on the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme. 

COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment

The COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment is available at all alert levels to employers to pay workers who follow public health guidance and are staying home while waiting for a COVID-19 test result. It’s also available to eligible self-employed workers. There’s a one-off payment of $350 for each eligible worker. 

The NZ Government Work and Income website has more information on the COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment. 

Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme

The Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme (SBCS) will provide assistance of up to a maximum of $100,000 to businesses employing 50 or fewer full-time employees. If you’ve previously applied for a SBCS and have fully repaid it, you can apply again. 

Applications are open until 31 December 2023. 

The NZ Government Inland Revenue website has more information on the SBCS. 

Business Debt Hibernation 

Business debt hibernation is a NZ Government initiative created in response to COVID-19. It helps companies, trusts, and other business entities affected by COVID-19 to apply for an initial month of protection while they talk to their creditors. Unfortunately, sole traders aren’t eligible for Business Debt Hibernation. 

Use the tool on NZ Business Government website to help you understand whether Business Debt Hibernation is an option for you, and how to get started.

Support program Eligibility Demonstrated decline Amount
Wage Subsidy Scheme  Check here for more details   40%+ for specified dates  $600 a week for each full-time employee. 


$359 a week for each part-time employee. 

Resurgence Support Payment  Check here for more details  30%+ for specified dates  $1,500 plus $400 per full-time employee (up to 50). The maximum payment is $21,500. 
COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme  Employees must meet health criteria. Check here for more details  N/A $585.80 a week for full-time workers who were working 20 hours or more a week. 


$350 a week for part-time workers who were working less than 20 hours a week. 

COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment  Check here for more details N/A One-off amount of $350 for each eligible worker 
Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme  Check here for more details 30%+ for specified dates 10,000 per firm, plus $1,800 per full-time employee 
Business Debt Hibernation  Use the tool on NZ Business Government website to check eligibility   N/A Protections generally apply for 1 month and then an additional 6 months if the creditors approve the arrangement.


Remember to check your eligibility requirements on the New Zealand Business Government’s website. This is a summary for general information only, none of the material is or should be regarded as advice of any kind.

Need flexible access to funds? A Prospa Small Business Loan may be able to help ease the pressure. Apply now.

The information on this website is provided for general information only and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from financial, legal and taxation advisors. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information as at the date of publication, Prospa, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information for any reason, including due to the passage of time, or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.