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The Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme (SBCS) provides loans to small to medium businesses or organisations that have been affected by COVID-19. 

To apply for the SBCS loan for your business or organisation:

  • You must be 18 years or over.
  • You must have the legal right and proper authority to commit your business or organisation to this loan and agree to the terms and conditions of the loan.

You must satisfy the following for your business or organisation: 

You and your business must be physically in New Zealand 

If you carry on your business by yourself (as a sole trader), you must be physically in and legally working in New Zealand. 

If you are not a sole trader, your business or organisation (for example, a company) must be physically located in New Zealand and existing under the laws of New Zealand. 

You must have owned and operated the business for 6 months before making the application

For example, buying an existing business will only meet the test when you have owned and operated it for 6 months.

Revenue decline of 30% due to the impact of COVID-19

You must have had at least a 30% drop in actual revenue and the drop must be due to the impact of COVID-19. You'll need to keep information in case we need to verify it. 

This drop 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 did not exist 1 year ago (or 2 years ago if the above applies), compare with the same or similar period in the previous month.

The drop in revenue between these 2 periods must be at least 30% and must be due to the impact of COVID-19.

Pre-revenue businesses and organisations

If your business or organisation has not received any revenue ( it is pre-revenue), you will need to have had a 30% drop in capital receipts due to the impact of Covid-19 to meet this part of the eligibility criteria.

When you complete the SBCS loan application, you must make 2 declarations about your drop in revenue. For pre-revenue businesses and organisations, 'revenue' means capital receipts.

Pre-revenue businesses or organisations

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.

For the purposes of an SBCS loan a full-time employee works 20 hours or more a week and counts as 1 FTE. A part-time employee works less than 20 hours a week and counts as 0.6 FTE.

Round the total number of FTEs up to the nearest whole number when  you apply. If your business or organisation is part of a commonly owned group, the commonly owned group must have 50 or fewer FTEs.

Commonly owned groups

Your business must be viable

Your business or organisation must be viable and ongoing and have a plan to ensure it stays viable and ongoing. A viable business  means the directors or owners have good reason to believe  the business or organisation will be able to pay its debts when  invoiced in the next 18 months. Your accountant may be able to provide this advice.

You will need to keep records of the business or organisation's ongoing viability at the time of applying for the loan. We may ask to see these. Your records may include:

  • a relevant cash-flow forecast for the business
  • a business plan that includes where future revenue will come from
  • financial statements showing the business has enough resources to keep going when it includes 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 because of COVID-19. Costs may include but are not limited to:

  • rent for the business
  • insurance
  • utilities
  • supplier payments
  • rates.

The loan must not be given to shareholders or owners of the business or organisation for their personal use, such as by a dividend or loan to the shareholders or owners.

No earlier event of default

Your business or organisation will not be eligible for a loan if there has been a default on an earlier loan under the SBCS whether the  default has or has not resulted in the loan being required to be repaid. This applies even if the default has been sorted out with us.

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.
Last updated: 10 Jul 2023
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