Prime Minister visits Tauranga Historic Village with new small business package announcement.

8 September 2020

News

Public and media gathered this morning at The Historic Village to welcome Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Public lined the pathways as applause and cheering ringed through the Village.

 

Photo: Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson greeted by Whipped Baker Staff 

Stopping off for tea and a conversation with the owners and staff at the Whipped Baker, Ardern discussed with staff how local business has responded and been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

 

Photo: Jacinda invited to sit for High Tea by Whipped Baker owner, Fran Cooper.

Alongside Labour Party colleagues, Jacinda Ardern has announced a new ‘small package’ to help business ‘survive and thrive’ as the country moves into a new normal.

If reflected, Labour will spend $1.5 billion to extend the small business loan cash flow scheme for an additional 3 years. Applications were due to close 31st December but Labour is promising to extend that with the loan also being interest-free and a 5 year pay off time frame.

The scheme allows eligible businesses to take out a $10,000 loan, plus an additional $1,800 per full-time employee.

“Our message to small business is that we have got your back,” says the Minister of Police, Fisheries, Revenue, and Small Business, Stuart Nash.

“In the short period of the lockdown the amount of work that has been done to enhance the use of digital technology in small business has taken us forward 5 years in terms of productivity gains,” explains Jacinda.

To provide a financial incentive, included in the package will be new ‘technology vouchers’ up to the value of $2500. This comes after Covid-19 and lockdown have seen business begin to grow their presence online.

 

Photo: Labour Party colleagues joined by Jacinda Ardern as new small business package announced.

 

Contactless payment was also a big conversation point with Jacinda and the Whipped Baker. Previously the bakery had opted not to use contactless payment because of the expensive fees attached to it. Some estimates claim that New Zealand retailers are paying 50% more in some cases than compared to Australian counterparts. Labour is committed to regulating the contactless payment area and seeing merchant service fees come down for small businesses.

Stuart Nash is promising that Labour will be committing to this change, but no timeframe was given regarding how soon those changes would come into play if re-elected.

Jacinda Ardern wraps up her tour of the Bay of Plenty, stopping by tomorrow at Whakatane. It will the first time Jacinda comes back to Whakatane since the White Island eruption last December.

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