While certain cost of living and climate initiatives outlined in Budget 2022 may assist businesses, some industry priorities are targeted specifically. Financial support for employers to retain and take on new apprentices is extended until end December 2023. Funding for Industry Transformation Plans (ITPs) includes allocations for the construction, manufacturing, agritech and digital sectors. Regional business support and tourism receive additional funding in a boost to the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund for investment in local projects.
There’s $100 million in capital funding for a new Business Growth Fund for SME businesses needing money to grow. The Government will buy minority stakes in eligible small businesses wanting to expand, investing alongside banks. Details will follow but, drawing on examples from the last two years’ business relief schemes, we expect eligibility criteria to require evidence of business viability, a New Zealand base, solid financial data and business plans outlining what applicants have in mind, such as expansion into new locations, new markets, or new products.
$60 million is allocated to improve broadband infrastructure in under-served areas of the country. Given how many New Zealand businesses are small and how many start up and carry on in rural areas, this may be a welcome leg up to business owners trying to grow online presence and streamline access to online services and software. It’s long overdue.
Notably absent are tax concessions which could assist climate change initiatives, such as FBT exemptions for employer-subsidised public transport or electric vehicles.
Let us know if you’d like to explore what budget initiatives might offer your business. And don’t forget to have a look at our complementary piece: Wellbeing Budget 2022 – overview.