More than just a favoured few should benefit from lending and wage subsidy changes to help businesses

 The business sector generally– rather than a few individual companies being favoured with grants or loans from an array of troughs – are the beneficiaries of two new government  pronouncements since Point of Order last checked the Beehive website.

First, the Government is offering to underwrite larger bank loans to businesses through  its Business Finance Guarantee Scheme.

The cap on loans offered under the scheme is being raised (hugely) from $500,000 to $5 million and the scheme is being broadened to enable businesses to use the loans for purposes beyond cashflow.

Second, eligible businesses can apply for a two-week wage subsidy of up to $1,171.60 per worker from today.  This is designed to help cover wages as part of the government’s plan to protect jobs and support the economy.

Applications for the new wage subsidy will be open on the Ministry of Social Development website from 1pm today.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni say the new wage subsidy and the current Wage Subsidy Extension – which is open for new applications until 1 September – will support an estimated 930,000 jobs.

But here’s the thing:  the government has put aside more money for wage subsidies than is being taken up.  Continue reading “More than just a favoured few should benefit from lending and wage subsidy changes to help businesses”