Support package for Kaikoura businesses extended
The wage subsidy package for quake-affected businesses in and around Kaikoura will be extended for a further eight weeks, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Social Development Minister Anne Tolley announced today.
Following on from the 14 November earthquake, the Government announced an initial wage subsidy package of eight weeks to help businesses in and around Kaikoura. Ministers committed to reviewing the package before Christmas as more information became available.
“It’s important to provide certainty for the affected businesses during what would normally be their busy summer period,” Mr Joyce says.
“While good progress is being made restoring the southern access to Kaikoura, it will still be some weeks before both roads south are open and operational for visitors. The road north will take a long time to be restored.
“The package is designed to assist those companies who had experienced a sudden, large and sustained drop in revenue to retain their staff while the district recovers.
“The further eight week extension is available for businesses in the Kaikoura district who face a dramatic drop in their turnover as a direct result of the earthquakes and the closure of State Highway One.”
The extended support package will:
cover up to a total of sixteen weeks at a rate of:
- $500 gross per week for a full time employee ($4,000 per person);
- $300 gross per week for a part time employee ($2,400 per person);
- not be subject to GST (i.e. so employees get a higher net subsidy);
- be backdated to the date of the earthquake and employers can ‘top up' the subsidy
Ministers also announced the business support package will now be available to businesses in Hanmer Springs and the wider Hurunui District who can show a sudden, large and sustained drop in revenue following the November earthquake.
For businesses in Hanmer Springs, the package will be limited to eight weeks and will be backdated to the date of the earthquake.
"Cabinet has set aside $5 million more for the package overall in addition to the $7.5 million originally allocated," Mrs Tolley says. “So far there have been 639 applications from businesses for the support, and $4.877 million has been paid out.”
The scheme is being administered through the Ministry of Social Development, with support from the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise North Canterbury, and the Kaikoura and Hurunui and Marlborough District Councils.
Anyone requiring information and support should call the Government Helpline on 0800 779 997.