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Taking Care of Business - Government support for small businesses

Connect Plus Taking Care of Business

Last week we headed off to the Taking Care of Business Roadshow which has been travelling the country over the past month.  If you weren't able to get along here are some of the tips which we picked up.

Thanks to Craig Foss, Minister for Small Business, the Government has rolled out a series of initiatives to help the small business owners in New Zealand.  It's great to see the Government start focusing on small business, after all, 97% of businesses in New Zealand are classified as SME (that is businesses that have 20 or fewer employees, it raises to 99% for businesses who employ 50 or less).  So what we are basically saying is that small business is well and truly the backbone of the New Zealand economy. But for many small businesses the question is often where do I turn for advice and assistance?  Here's what we learnt:

  • Regional Business Partner Network

If you are a business owner and you want your business to grow and innovate, the Regional Business Partner (RBP) Network can help. The RBP Network has specialist business advisors available to provide you with advice, information and connections to support your business.

They can help you:

  1. Gain outside perspective from an independent, experienced business advisor in a confidential environment
  2. Identify the next steps for your business
  3. Connect you with the local business community, industry networks and clusters.
  4. Match you with a mentor from Business Mentors NZ
  5. Provide access to Capability Development vouchers
  6. Provide access to research and development (R&D) funding
  7. Connect you with the Callaghan Innovation Programmes

 Find out more information on their website

  • business.govt.nz

We love this site - so many great resources! If you are a small business in New Zealand this website needs to be bookmarked (or just leave it open!). business.govt.nz is the Governments online help for small business - this website could save you thousands in consultants fee's, we even advise our clients to visit it if they will save precious dollars.

Some of our favourite tools on the site

  1. Business Plan Template 
  2. Starting a Business- 9 simple steps to help your business succeed
  3. Employee Cost Calculator
  4. Employment Agreement Builder
  5. Business Planning

Find out more information on their website

  • IRD

They get a bit of bad press but probably because who really enjoys paying tax but the IRD are really there to help support small businesses and their tools for business on their website is a fantastic resource to assist you with all your small business tax queries and making tax and easier and more seamless part of your business life. And after hearing about the changes they have been working on in conjunction with our Government agencies we have to say, we are excited about the IRD! 

So what are we excited about, the changes IRD are making to Provisional Tax, GST and PAYE payments.  To find out about all the great changes the IRD are making for the benefit of small businesses head over to their Changing for You website.

Also check out information on the NZ Business Number, which is being rolled out and which we LOVE.  This means every business in NZ will have one number to make sharing information and accessing resources across a multitude of Government Departments easier than ever. You will also only need to update your information with one department and it will update everywhere, brilliant! To find out more head over to www.nzbn.govt.nz

Find out more information on their website

  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

This is the sexy side of Government agencies and we couldn't get enough of what the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is all about. In particular their Digital Journey Assessment.  We recommend you jump on to the website and fill in the short assessment which reviews your businesses current use of digital services and then gives you an action plan to follow up based on your individual results. 

Find out more information on their website

  • ACC

ACC, a bit like IRD really they get bad press, but again, another Government Agency which is here to help small businesses manage their ACC commitments. A couple of interesting points to look out for as a small business owner, there are new Health and Safety regulations, do you know what they are? Look into Cover Plus Extra - a pre-agreed level of cover if you are self-employed and their third wee gem, check your business industry classification code at www.businessdescription.co.nz - a lot of businesses have given the incorrect code and could be paying the wrong amount. 

Find out more information on their website

  • Statistics NZ

Statistics NZ is the go-to resource for small business.  They have all the data (and then some) you need for market research, customer information, sector and industry information and regional statistics. The question they always get asked from businesses and what we love is their Business Toolbox - they call it a Market Mapper.  Head over and take a look, you will love it too

Find out more information on their website

  • Work Safe

Work Safe sees their principle role to Identify risk and educate businesses.  There are 150,000 small businesses in New Zealand and over 1,000 ACC claims made per month.  How can we reduce this?  Key takeout, identify the key risks to your business and work through a plan to mitigate these.  Work Safe can help with this plan.

Find out more information on their website

Other Departments and Resources

  • New Zealand Story – Register for free to access high-res images, infographics, and other marketing resources nzstory.govt.nz
  • Te Puni Korikiri offers regional support for Maori business owners through the Maori Business Facilitation Service
  • For support for primary industry businesses and organisations to maximise exports, improve productivity and help grow the economy head over to Ministry of Primary Industries
  • Information on support available to move off benefits and start a business can be found through Work & Income
  • For early stage businesses thinking about exporting, tools & support including an Export Readiness Questionnaire contact New Zealand Trade & Enterprise

We came away from the Taking Care of Business Roadshow feeling really positive and excited about the focus being given to small businesses.  As you can see there are lots of resources to help you, and as a small business owner you are not alone and the focus the Government has given the small business sector shows that they value the contribution small businesses are making to the New Zealand economy.  We hope that this information is helpful, if you have any questions or would like clarification around anything, please do not hesitate to contact us.

1 comment

Aug 05, 2016

Im.a small business that has been struggling with information and balancing of taxes and trying to grow the business so i can actually get something for all the hours i put in without working further hours and punishing my family with absence anymore

Chel adams

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