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Free Counselling Available To All 200,000+ Auckland Small Business Owners

Xero Assistance Programme expanded in Auckland until the end of the year

Xero, the global small business platform, announced today that all 200,000+ small business owners in Auckland are now eligible for free and confidential professional counselling through the Xero Assistance Programme (XAP) until the end of the year.

Craig Hudson, Xero’s Managing Director for New Zealand & Pacific Islands, says there is an enormous strain on the wellbeing of Auckland business almost 80 consecutive days in lockdown.

“Lockdowns are tough for everyone, but especially for small business owners. There’s a huge weight on their shoulders with so many people relying on them including their families, staff and customers. With no clear end in sight, many are increasingly worried about their future livelihoods”.

“The data paints a grim picture. The latest Xero Small Business Insights showed sales were down 18.4 percent (y/y) in Auckland and small businesses were paid four and a half days slower (m/m). This is causing major cash flow issues and small businesses are currently on their knees.

“With Covid-19 now established in the community, even when lockdown restrictions ease there are no guarantees things will bounce back to pre-lockdown levels. It’s an incredibly tough time to be a small business owner and it’s vital they have access to wellbeing support,” says Hudson.

The Xero Assistance Programme is facilitated through world-leading wellbeing provider, Benestar, and offers confidential and free access to three telephone, live chat, or online counselling sessions.

All Xero customers across Aotearoa, along with their staff and families, are already eligible for free and confidential professional counselling through XAP. This equates to more than one million Kiwis throughout the country.

“At Xero, we understand the importance of taking care of your wellbeing. New Zealanders should see talking to a counsellor as a strength. It’s an active step towards taking better care of your wellbeing and strengthens your ability to take on all manner of challenges,” says Hudson.

To access, users simply need to message xap@xero.com with the name of their business, or follow the instructions here.

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