8 Feb 2023

Govt announces $5m support package for flood-affected businesses in Auckland

7:03 pm on 8 February 2023
Business owner Mathew Coles says most of his furniture floated through the street.

Flood damage at a business in Browns Bay in Auckland. Photo: RNZ/Rayssa Almeida

Businesses which face closure or a significant impact on their operations since the floods can draw on a new fund, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins says.

He announced a $5 million support package for flood-hit businesses today.

Speaking at the post-Cabinet briefing, Hipkins said the emergency package of support had been developed after consultations with the Auckland Business Chamber and the Employers and Manufacturers Association.

"It includes up to $3 million for discretionary flood recovery payments to support businesses at high risk of closure, or who have experienced a very significant impact on their operations."

There would also be $1m available "to focus on business continuity and resilience at a community level", Hipkins said.

Up to $1m was being set aside to provide mental health wellbeing support for business owners through a boost to the existing first steps programme.

Inland Revenue will also waive penalties for late payments for Auckland, Northland, the Bay of Plenty, Thames/Coromandel and Waikato.

Watch the full briefing:

In a statement on the package Finance Minister Grant Robertson said: "The floods were devastating for many businesses in the Auckland region.

"The flooding was sudden and could not be reasonably prepared for so it is expected that it will take a long time for many businesses to recover and start operating again.

"We will consider further support if required."

A business on Dominion Road near Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland

A business on Dominion Road in Auckland on the night of 27 January, 2023. Photo: RNZ / Christina Persico

Funds would be allocated via the Auckland Business Chamber, the Employers and Manufacturers Association, Whāriki (Auckland's Māori Business Network) and the Pacific Business Trust, Robertson said.

Minister for Small Business Ginny Andersen said she met with owners of some small businesses who had been hit hard by the flooding.

"What they told me is that using existing business networks on the ground in Auckland is the most efficient and effective way to deliver this help, and that is what we are doing."

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