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COVID-19 - Level 1 If you've been affected by COVID-19, we may be able to help. Find out more

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

To be eligible for the loan, your business or organisation must have 50 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees.

This is calculated from the funding you received or are eligible for under the original wage subsidy scheme as explained below.

If you have received the original wage subsidy for all of your employees

If you included all your employees in the original wage subsidy application, you are eligible for the SBCS loan if your original wage subsidy was $351,480 or less. This equates to 50 full-time employees.

If you have received the original wage subsidy only for some of your employees

You are only eligible for the SBCS loan if the amount of original wage subsidy you would have received, if you'd included all your employees, was $351,480 or less.

If you did not apply for the original wage subsidy

You can still receive the SBCS loan if you are eligible for the original wage subsidy of $351,480 or less if you were to apply for all your employees.

Check if your organisation is eligible for the original wage subsidy using the information at Work and Income or the tool at

Work and Income COVID-19 wage subsidy

You do not need to have received the original wage subsidy to receive a loan.

Note: The original wage subsidy requires sole traders to be physically present in New Zealand, however they can still receive the SCBS loan if they are temporarily away from New Zealand.

Commonly owned groups of businesses and organisations

These groups will be treated as a single firm when applying the eligibility cap of 50 full-time-equivalent employees and for the purposes of assessing the available loan amount.

Commonly owned groups

Your business must be viable

To be eligible for the SBCS loan your business or organisation needs to be viable and you must have a plan to ensure it remains viable. This generally means the directors or owners have good reason to believe it is more likely than not 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.

Evidence might include, for example:

  • a cash-flow forecast for the business or organisation for the short term
  • a plan for where 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.