Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Xero Data Reveals COVID-19’s Initial Impact On NZ Small Business Sector

Xero - the global small business platform, today released analysis from its Small Business Insights program for March and April, revealing the initial impact of COVID-19, the importance of the wage subsidy and what small businesses will need as they move into the rebuild and recovery phase.

Year-on-year revenue for small business fell by 10% in March and 34% in April.

Craig Hudson, Xero Managing Director of New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, says revenue numbers began to fall after New Zealand recorded its first COVID-19 case.

“Revenue dropped through March to the end of April as the pandemic hit New Zealand and we entered Alert Level 4 restrictions.

“We all know small businesses are feeling the pain of the economic shock caused by COVID-19, and spending habits completely changed.

“Xero is currently processing Small Business Insights data for May which will show how the small business economy fared as the country moved out of Alert Level 4.

“There is still a lot of hardship ahead, but in May we look forward to seeing the results as parts of the economy open up again,” continues Hudson.

Job losses in the small business sector

During the month of March, the number of jobs in small businesses dropped 4% or by approximately 24,000 employees.

The losses levelled out towards the end of March when the Government’s wage subsidy package began to be paid out to small businesses across the country.

Hudson says it’s clear the wage subsidy package was an important piece of the puzzle in order for small businesses to retain staff as we entered the lockdown period.

“As much as it’s easy to get lost in the numbers, every single job is precious. For those that can, shopping locally and paying invoices on time will be vital to our recovery. That’s how we’ll keep money circulating through the economy and give small businesses the confidence to employ again.”

Regional impacts

COVID-19’s impact on regional employment was varied. Auckland, Hawke’s Bay and Northland saw decreases in employment earlier than the rest of the country. In the last week of March, Auckland employment figures were down 4.4%, alongside Northland (-3.5%) and Hawke’s Bay (-3.1%).

However, by the time New Zealand had been in lock down for several weeks, these impacts were widespread across the country.

While Auckland saw the largest drop in job numbers in April (-5.7%) there were also reported declines in employment in Otago (-2.1%), the Bay of Plenty (-3.1%), Waikato (-4.3%), Wellington (-4.6%), Northland (-4.9%) and the Hawke’s Bay (-5.3%).

Hudson says: “Regardless of location, New Zealand’s small business sector has been hit hard by COVID-19. The sector will continue to need support in the tail end of this pandemic. Now more than ever, cash flow is important to small and medium businesses.

“To do your part to keep the New Zealand economy afloat and support the small business sector, the best thing to do is pay your bills promptly. If we can keep money circulating around the country, this will be one of the ways to help alleviate the economic shock of lockdown as we begin to reopen as a nation.

“Additionally, I encourage all Kiwis to get out and explore their own backyards and spend locally. Aotearoa is a country of wonder and a surge of domestic tourism would go a long way in supporting key regions that were hit hard and fast.”

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Infrastructure Commission: Te Waihanga Releases Report On Water Infrastructure

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga’s latest discussion document highlights the importance of current reforms in the water sector. Its State of Play discussion document about water infrastructure is one of a series looking at the ... More>>

Sci-Tech: Perseverance Rover Lands On Mars – Expert Reaction

NASA has landed a car-sized rover on the red planet to search for signs of past life. The vehicle has more instruments than the four rovers preceding it, and it’s also carrying gear that could help pave the way for human exploration of Mars. The ... More>>


ASB: Quarterly Economic Forecast Predicts OCR Hike As Early As August 2022

Predictions of interest rate rises have been brought forward 12 months in ASB’s latest Quarterly Economic Forecast. Chief Economist Nick Tuffley now expects the RBNZ to begin raising the OCR from its current level of 0.25% as early as August ... More>>

Real Estate: House Price Growth Rates In Hawke’s Bay Skyrocket Ahead Of Rest Of New Zealand

Hawke’s Bay is leading the property ‘pack’ proving a post lockdown land of milk and money, continuing to outstrip the rest of the country with the highest annual growth rate in house price values. But experts warn an overheated market is fast ... More>>

ACT: Matariki Almost A Half Billion Dollar Tax On Business

“Official advice to the Government says an extra public holiday at Matariki could cost almost $450 million,” ACT Leader David Seymour can reveal. “This is a perfect example of the Prime Minister doing what’s popular versus what’s responsible. ... More>>

Genesis: Assessing 6,000 GWh Of Renewable Generation Options For Development By 2025

Genesis is assessing 6,000 GWh of renewable generation options for development after starting a closed RFP process with 11 partners. Those invited to participate offer a range of technologies as Genesis continues to execute its Future-gen strategy to ... More>>

OECD: Unemployment Rate Stable At 6.9% In December 2020, 1.7 Percentage Points Higher Than In February 2020

The OECD area unemployment rate was stable at 6.9% in December 2020, remaining 1.7 percentage points above the level observed in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the labour market. [1] In December, the unemployment rate was also stable ... More>>

Stats NZ: Unemployment Drops To 4.9 Percent As Employment Picks Up

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent in the December 2020 quarter, from 5.3 percent in the September 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Last quarter’s unemployment rate of 5.3 percent followed the largest increase observed ... More>>