Weekly Digest – 18 November 2020

Hello again – welcome to the latest edition of our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas that will help us all move forward.

Government Fast Tracks $2.9 Million for NZ Biotech Firm to Build Vaccine Lab

The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment has approved a $2.9 million payment for Biocell to upgrade its research facility in Papatoetoe, Auckland to manufacture a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Biocell partnered with Stabilitech to develop an oral coronavirus vaccine, OraPro-COVID-19.

Following the announcement by Pfizer and BioNTech that its vaccine could be 90% effective, Biocell CEO Nidish Nair said that Stabilitech’s COVID-19 vaccine development was progressing well. Unlike Pfizer’s vaccine, it would not have to be stored at ultra cold temperatures.

Research: Māori Economy Poised to Thrive Post COVID-19

A research commissioned by Te Puni Kōkiri showed that there are a lot more Māori businesses than previously thought.

According to the study, there are more than 10,000 economically significant Māori-owned businesses, eight times more than expected and representing 6% of all businesses across New Zealand.

The Māori economy is estimated to be worth between $42 to 50 billion, and with the government’s focus on the growth of Māori small- to medium-sized businesses, it is positioned to grow further.

Xero Kicks Off FY 2021 With $34.5 Million Profit

NZ accounting software company Xero has reported its first half-year results for the 2021 financial year by banking $34.5 million in net profit after tax. Total subscribers jumped by 19% to 2.45 million and total subscriber lifetime value increased by 15% to $6.2 million.

These stellar results demonstrate the value that customers attribute to the cloud-based accounting platform and the strength of Xero’s business model. If you want to streamline your accounting processes or learn more about how Xero can help you improve your business performance, contact our Xero experts today.

Online Māori Mall Launched to Help Small Māori Businesses

With the help of a $200,000 grant from Te Puni Kōkiri, the Hokohoko Māori Mall website was launched, along with business mentoring and networking as a key part of the initiative.

The goal was to get 100 Māori businesses on the platform with 500 products by June 2021. Currently, 60 businesses have already joined.

Managed Isolation Voucher System FAQs

Travellers to NZ must now have a managed isolation voucher to be allowed to board their flight to the country.

The system which went live on October 5 and applies to all arriving flights from November 3 was booking up fast for Christmas.

For more information on the Managed Isolation Voucher System, you may check this website.

New $40 Million COVID-19 Fund Opens

Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs has announced that a new lottery fund worth $40 million has opened. The fund will provide one-off grants for community and social initiatives that will ensure that iwi, hapū and communities across New Zealand are safe and resilient following COVID-19.

This new fund is part of $178 million that has been allocated by the Lottery Grants Board this year to support community and social initiatives, marae, community facilities, heritage, environment activities, outdoor safety, health research and individuals with disabilities.

More details about applying for funding can be found on the Community Matters website. If you need help in assessing your eligibility or considering other funding options available to you, feel free to contact us.

Financial Help For Small Māori-owned Businesses Extended

The $10 million Māori Trustee Top-Up Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme, which has paid almost $1 million to Māori-owned small and medium-sized enterprises, has been extended until 31 December 2020.

If you need assistance with your application or would like to take advantage of other financial help you are eligible for, contact us today so we can guide you in considering your options.

Remind Your Customers to Use NZ COVID Tracer App

Businesses are urged to remind customers to use the NZ COVID Tracer App. While this is not a silver bullet, the app is one of the tools that we can use for faster contact tracing and to prevent another wave of the virus.

As a business owner, you should take it as your responsibility to prompt your customers and remind them to scan the QR code displayed in your business premises.

Customers Not Paying? Here are Tips to Prevent Non-Payments

At some point, businesses will face the inevitable non-paying customer problem. Whether it’s a regular customer who continuously misses due dates or a one-timer who completely ghosts you, dealing with non-paying clients can be stressful and frustrating.

Here are some tips to make sure they don’t miss a payment deadline:

  • Always discuss payment terms upfront.
    Detail all projected costs, including installment fees and payment deadlines right from the start of the engagement.
  • Provide multiple payment options.
    The more flexible your business is in terms of payment, the easier it will be for customers to send their payments across. Accept digital payments and credit cards to accommodate those who prefer paying with these options instead of cash.
  • Send invoices immediately.
    Give your customers enough time to pay you by sending invoices and billing them upfront.
  • Take time to follow-up on payments.
    Don’t hesitate to reach out to customers who haven’t paid you yet. Some people genuinely forget about due dates and simply need to be reminded.
  • Work with a factoring company.
    A factoring company will pay you immediately following an invoice, using it as collateral. When the customer themselves pay the invoice, the transaction will be closed.

Do you need help chasing payments and keeping your invoices on track? Get in touch with us today and let’s discuss how we can help you.

Free Business Advice for Auckland Businesses

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) has supported thousands of businesses affected by COVID-19 this year by giving them access to fully funded expert advice amounting to $10 million.

If you haven’t connected with them, now is a good time to get consultancy services in areas such as HR, employee relations, legal, health and wellness, marketing strategy, digital enablement strategy and more.

Those who haven’t previously accessed support from the Regional Business Partner have to register on the RBP website first. You will need your GST number and NZBN number to do this. Meanwhile, Auckland businesses already registered can email the ATEED Business Helpdesk for their application, even if initial support from the COVID-19 Business Advisory Fund has been accessed.

If you would like to chat about your business, particularly on the financial side, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We can help you develop a plan for your specific situation.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.