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The Small Business Cashflow (Loan) Scheme (SBCS) provides loans to small businesses or organisations which have been impacted by COVID-19. These loans are intended to assist small businesses or organisations recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

From 21 March 2022, the SBCS base loan will increase from $10,000 to $20,000. Therefore, the amount that can be borrowed from that date is $20,000, plus $1,800 per full-time equivalent employee (up to 50 employees).

If you have an existing SBCS loan which has not been repaid in full, your business or organisation may be able to apply for a top up loan from 21 March 2022. The amount of the top up loan is a base rate of $10,000 plus any amount available at the time of taking your existing SBCS loan which you did not borrow at the time.

If your business or organisation has been granted a SBCS loan and repaid it in full before the end of 2023, you may be able to re-borrow one more time. You and your business or organisation will need to meet the eligibility criteria at the time you apply to re-borrow.

You will not be eligible for a top up loan or for a second loan if your business or organisation defaulted on a previous SBCS loan, even if the event of default has been remedied to the Commissioner’s satisfaction.

To apply for the SBCS, your business or organisation will need to meet all the following eligibility criteria.

Your business or organisation

These are the eligibility criteria for your business or organisation.

Your business must have 50 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees (FTEs)

You need to know how many part-time and full-time employees you have.

  • An employee working 20 hours or more per week is considered full-time and counts as 1 FTE.
  • An employee working less than 20 hours per week is considered part-time and counts as 0.6 FTEs.

The sum of your FTEs is rounded up to the nearest whole number and is measured at the point you apply.

If you're part of a commonly owned group, your commonly owned group must have 50 or fewer FTEs.

Commonly owned groups

You need to have been in business for 6 months

Your business or organisation needs to have been owned and operated by you for at least 6 months before making the application. All individuals who are employed by you need to be working legally in New Zealand.

You must have experienced at least a 30% decline in actual revenue.

This decline in revenue is measured over a 14-day period in the 6 months before applying, compared with the same 14-day period 1 year ago.

If the revenue from the same period 1 year ago was affected by COVID-19 as well, compare with the same 14-day period 2 years ago.

If your business or organisation was not in existence 1 year ago (or 2 years ago if the above applies), compare with the same or similar period in the previous month.

The decline in revenue between these 2 periods must be at least 30 percent and must be due to the impact of COVID-19. You'll need to hold information to verify this for audit purposes.

Your business must be viable

Your business or organisation needs to be viable and have a plan to ensure it remains viable. This generally means the directors or owner have good reason to believe it's more likely than not that the business or organisation will be able to pay its debts as they fall due within the next 18 months. Your accountant may be able to provide this advice.

You must keep any evidence of the business or organisation's ongoing viability at the time of requesting the loan, as we may audit your application.

This evidence could include, for example:

  • a cash-flow forecast for the business or organisation for the short terms
  • a plan for where the revenue will come from in future market conditions and a forecast of those revenues
  • financial statements showing the business or organisation has enough resources to sustain itself when including the SBCS loan
  • your accountant's assessment that the business or organisation is viable and ongoing.

Use of the loan

The loan must be used to pay for core operating costs of your business or organisation or capital costs that are intended to help your business adapt to the circumstances arising as a result of COVID-19.

This may include (but is not limited to):

  • rent
  • insurance
  • utilities
  • supplier payments
  • rates.

The loan must not be passed through to shareholders or owners of the business or organisation, such as by a dividend or loan to the shareholders or owners.

Am I eligible for the Small Business Cashflow (Loan) Scheme?

To apply for the SBCS loan for your business or organisation, you must be 18 years or older and have the legal right and appropriate authority to commit your business or organisation to this loan. We are not providing financial or other advice regarding this loan. You also must agree to the terms and conditions for the SBCS loan.
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Last updated: 12 Jul 2021
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