Banks aren’t going far enough to support small and medium businesses, and the government seems to agree. As of 12 May, the government has offered interest-free loans to small and medium businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19. The loans are intended to give affected companies cashflow to meet some of their fixed costs on concessionary terms; such as rent, insurance, utilities and/or rates.

This loan scheme provides up to $100,000 to firms employing 50 or fewer full-time employees. Specifically, the loan provides up to $10,000 to every firm plus $1800 per every full-time employee up to 50.

The loan will be interest-free if it is paid back within a year, and after that first year, the interest rate will be 3%, for a maximum term of 5 years. Repayments are not required for the first 2 years.

The eligibility criteria is the same as that of the Wage Subsidy Scheme. Businesses must declare that they are a viable business, that they will use the money for core business operating costs and will then enter into a legally binding loan contract. You can read more about that here:


Minister of Finance, Grant Robertson, has said

“We are targeting this scheme to those who have a viable business but have been put in a position of not generating any revenue. These kinds of terms are not available anywhere else. We are committed to sharing the burden of the impacts of COVID-19. As a responsible Government we must ensure we are using taxpayer money carefully as we provide support for business.”.


Applications have been open since 12 May with the pay-out taking place shortly after. The last day to apply for this loan is 12 June 2020. You can apply here by contacting inland revenue: