Extensions to the Government Funded COVID-19 Business Advisory Support Fund

In mid-March the Government announced $4m would be allocated to the Regional Business Partner Network (RBPN) to provide funding for Business Advisors to help small and medium sized businesses (SME) through the COVID-19 Crisis.

On the evening of the 23rd March 2020, RBPN advised that funding was available via their Regional Growth Advisors to provide RBPN registered businesses with less than 50 full time employees fully funded Business Advisor Support up to a maximum amount to be determined by the Regional Growth Advisor not exceeding $5,000 and to be used by the 30th June 2020.

The Regional Growth Advisors notified registered Business Advisors, the following day, that they would depending on individual Region be issuing vouchers for the funding of between $2,000 and $2,5000 per client.  The reason for the drop in funding from $5,000 to $2,000 for the Auckland – North Regions was to spread the money over as many businesses as possible.

The funding was to cover:

  • Human Resources
  • Health and Wellness
  • Business Continuity Planning
  • Financial and Cashflow Management

On the 15th April the Government provided an additional $25m for Business Advisor support over the next 12 months.  The actual end date has yet to be specified.

On the 28th April the RBPN took down their website for maintenance and posted their announcement of the 23rd March including the additional $25m.

Later that week they amended their post to advise that it was now eligible to businesses with fewer than 100 full time employees and additionally, the use of the fund was expanded to cover:

  • Employee Relations and Legal
  • Health and Wellness
  • Business Continuity Support
  • Marketing Support
  • Digital Enablement Services
  • Financial and Cashflow Planning

We are picking the addition of Marketing Support and Digital Enablement Services were added to remove any confusion as Business Advisors like ourselves were all treating them as part of Business Continuity Support as they are critical to businesses recovering from the Covid-19 crisis.