Wellington [New Zealand], November 9 (ANI/Xinhua): The first cabinet decision of New Zealand's new Labor government made on Monday will provide stronger support to small businesses in the country as part of its efforts to accelerate economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Cabinet decided today to extend the scheme, which was due to expire at the end of the year, out to 31 December 2023 and to extend the interest-free period from one year to two years," said a government statement.
Supporting small businesses by extending the interest-free loans will "provide greater certainty, support confidence in the sector and help accelerate our economic recovery," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a speech after the cabinet meeting.
"Our recovery from COVID won't end in December and nor should the scheme," she said, adding, "Different businesses may need to access the scheme at different times, so it's important it remains as a backstop for them to fall back on if times get hard."
Ardern said the extended interest-free period can provide businesses with some cashflow relief.
"The economic recovery from COVID is a priority for the government and supporting small business is at the heart of our recovery," she said. New Zealand's new cabinet was officially sworn in on Friday. (ANI/Xinhua)