National ‘unleashes entrepreneurial and job-creation explosion’

National Party leader Judith Collins. Photo RNZ - Samuel Rillstone
National Party leader Judith Collins. Photo RNZ – Samuel Rillstone

The National Party says it will unleash an entrepreneurial and job-creation explosion over the next 17 months, which economists say will be the toughest times any living New Zealand has ever known, according to National leader Judith Collins.

Collins was in Lower Hutt today announcing National’s new BusinessStart policy, a companion policy to the JobStart policy that was launched in West Auckland in late May.

“New Zealand faces its worst economic downturn for 160 years,” Collins says in a media release.

“By Christmas, as many as 500,000 Kiwis may be unemployed. There are already about 200,000 New Zealanders on unemployment benefits, with another 400,000 jobs being kept alive under the wage subsidy scheme that ends on September 1.

“National’s BusinessStart will help Kiwis who have lost their jobs since March 1, 2020, or lose their jobs in the months ahead, to set up a small business with at least $30,000 available to help you buy kit, make sure you have some working capital and lower your taxes in the early stages, as you start to become successful.

 “The $30,000 will come from a combination of KiwiSaver savings, tax credits and taxpayers’ funds.”

Under BusinessStart, National will make available to all Kiwis who have lost their jobs since March 1, or who those lose their jobs in the months ahead, a $1000 voucher for them to get proper financial advice from a Chartered Accountant or Registered Financial Adviser on their ideas, and put together a viable business plan.

Once those business plans are signed off, BusinessStart recipients can access:

·         Up to $20,000 of their own money from their KiwiSaver account to help get their business going

·         At least $10,000 in tax credits to pay GST or provisional tax when the business starts making a profit

·         A waiver from the Company Office registration fee of $130, and

·         Free mentoring from advisers like chambers of commerce, employers and manufacturers associations and Business Mentors New Zealand from a new $10 million contestable fund.

In addition, like all business owners, BusinessStart recipients will be able to write-off new investment of up to $150,000 for each new asset instantly, under National’s previously announced policy.

Collins said BusinessStart would provide the basics for new businesses to get going.

“With approved business plans, $20,000 from KiwiSaver and the tax credits, we’re sure the banks will be competing to give BusinessStart recipients decent banking finance packages for any additional capex and working capital they need.

“National’s vision is that BusinessStart recipients then feel confident enough to take on a mate, using JobStart, which gives small businesses cash payments of $10,000 for every new, permanent, full-time job they create.”

Both BusinessStart and JobStart will run from 1 November 2020 to 31 March 2022 – 12 months longer than planned when National announced JobStart in May.

“No Government ever creates jobs,” Collins says. “You, the business owners and entrepreneurs of New Zealand do that. National wants there to be more of you. National wants to back you, as you back yourselves and your mates to get this country working again.”

Meanwhile BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope says National’s policy for growing enterprise would draw funds from several different sources and provide help at key points for new businesses.
“The BusinessStart scheme announced today would provide start-up grants of $10,000 and allow people to take $20,000 out of their KiwiSaver to start a business.
“The scheme would lift thresholds for provisional tax and writing off assets, provide free mentoring and provide further grants of $10,000 for taking on a permanent employee.
“Tax credits for the taxed portion of redundancy payments would be available for a new business to pay future GST or provisional tax.”
Hope said the policy was a thoughtful approach to helping small business start-ups in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.