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Business Finance Guarantee Scheme

Keep your business running by accessing government finance through your bank

The Government and the banks are implementing a $6.25 billion Business Finance Guarantee Scheme for small and medium-sized businesses.

The Crown, in partnership with participating approved banks, will support targeted new loans (including increases to existing limits) to eligible businesses, as a response to difficulties caused by COVID-19.

Further information about the scheme can be found on business.govt.nz.

Which banks are participating?

All New Zealand registered banks are eligible to apply to join the scheme. Banks participating in the scheme include ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Heartland Bank, HSBC, Kiwibank, SBS Bank, TSB and Westpac.

What is the time period for applying for a Supported Loan?

Loans will be available under the scheme until 30 September 2020.

I own a business – am I eligible?

To be eligible to apply for loans under the scheme your business must be New Zealand-based and with an annual turnover between $250,000 and $80 million. A range of activities are excluded, please refer to Excluded Activities.

What are the eligibility criteria? 

There are standard criteria for scheme loans (outlined below), but otherwise a normal lending process will be followed by the banks. The banks have put their application forms online so you can view and compare them, but we would expect that banks will be giving priority to existing customers. From the available information, it appears that it will take at least 7-10 days for applications to be processed. It also appears that other bank funding options may need to be exhausted first. 

Entity

• New Zealand-based business
• Impacted by COVID-19
• Annual turnover of $250,000 to $80 million.

Loan

• Can apply once
• $500,000 maximum loan amount
• 90-day minimum term and 3-year maximum term
• Primarily to support operating expenses while a business deals with the disruption caused by COVID-19. Capital expenditure can only be up to a maximum of 5% of the loan principal drawn
• Cannot be used to pay dividends or for on-lending outside borrower’s guaranteeing group
• Can only be used to refinance existing debt if it is a loan advanced on or after 16 March 2020 that meets other criteria (including the other criteria for Scheme loans).

Ineligible entities

Scheme loans cannot be made to fund anyone engaged in:
• Property development and property investment
• Local government (i.e. a local authority, a council-controlled organisation or a council organisation for the purposes of the Local Government Act 2002)
• The supply of recreational cannabis
• The processing of whale meat
• The manufacture of cluster munitions, nuclear explosive devices, anti-personnel mines, tobacco, and civilian automatic and semi-automatic firearms, magazines or parts
• Agriculture (this does not include horticulture, viticulture, aquaculture, or services to agriculture)
• Any other activity notified by the Crown to banks in writing, with effect from the date of that notification.

Applying for a loan?

You may meet the qualifying criteria as above and the bank’s own lending criteria. But, as with any commitment, you also need to weigh up the pros and cons of taking on the additional debt. We fully expect that banks will require personal guarantees, and in that case, you will also have to think carefully about putting your personal assets on the line, at least in respect of the 20% not guaranteed by the Government.

While the information requirements might differ depending on your bank and your circumstances, generally you should expect to provide the following information in support of your application:

• Your last set of financial statements for the business
• A copy of your most recent tax return
• A cash flow forecast detailing your income and essential expenditure for at least 3 months and what a return to more normal business might look like over 2-3 years
• A personal statement of position.