New Zealand strengthens support to small businesses in economic recovery

WELLINGTON (XINHUA) – The first Cabinet decision of New Zealand’s new Labour government made yesterday will provide a stronger support to small businesses in the country as part of its efforts to accelerate economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Cabinet decided today to extend the scheme, which was due to expire at the end of the year, out to December 31, 2023 and to extend the interest free period from one year to two years,” said a government statement.

Supporting small businesses by extending the interest free loans will “provide greater certainty, support confidence in the sector and help accelerate our economic recovery”, Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said in a speech after the cabinet meeting.

“Our recovery from COVID won’t end in December and nor should the scheme,” she said, adding, “Different businesses may need to access the scheme at different times, so it’s important it remains as a backstop for them to fall back on if times get hard.”