Who is the scheme for?

The scheme is available to all eligible New Zealand-based businesses with an annual revenue of up to $80 million, that have been impacted by COVID-19. Each eligible business can apply for a loan of up to $500,000.

Key points of the scheme

  • The maximum term of a loan is 3 years at a special variable interest rate.
  • Funds are limited, and are available only for eligible businesses.
  • The availability of loans is subject to certain exclusions^.
  • Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can apply for a loan under the scheme from Thursday 2 April, with loans drawn down on or before 30 September 2020, or until the scheme funds have been allocated.
  • The purpose of the loan must be primarily to support operating expenses while a business deals with the disruption caused by COVID-19. Capital expenditure (Capex) can only be up to a maximum of 5% of the loan principal drawn.
  • We’ll require usual security arrangements, which may include a General Security Agreement (GSA) and personal guarantees (where applicable).
  • Your existing committed facilities must remain in place at the time you draw under a BFS loan.
  • Each eligible business can apply for only one BFS loan per borrower guaranteeing group.

Things to consider when applying 

If you’re thinking about applying for the BFS loan, consider how additional borrowing might impact your business plans. Some factors to consider include:

  • how your business has been impacted (cashflow, business operations, suppliers, customers, your team)
  • what steps you have taken so far to lessen the impact (government wage subsidy, fixed and variable costs changes)
  • how long you’d estimate it would take for your business to resume normal trading activity.  

How to apply

We’re experiencing a significant increase in enquiries right now and are working to respond to these within 7-10 business days.

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Small businesses

Complete the Business Finance Scheme enquiry form. One of our team will be in touch to discuss the application criteria and specific options available to your business.

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If you have a dedicated BNZ Partner, please get in touch with them via phone or email and they can guide you through the process.

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Information disclosure

We’re required to disclose information, including your personal information, relating to BFS loans to government bodies, including government ministries and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. To be eligible for a loan, you’ll have to agree to us sharing your information in this manner.

Eligibility criteria

We’re not permitted to make BFS loans available to fund anyone engaged in:

  • residential and commercial property development and investment
  • being a local authority, a council-controlled organisation or a council organisation for the purposes of the Local Government Act 2002
  • the manufacture or distribution of recreational cannabis
  • the processing of whale meat
  • the manufacture of cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines, tobacco, and civilian automatic and semi-automatic firearms, magazines or parts
  • the manufacture or testing of nuclear explosive devices
  • any activity which is illegal in New Zealand
  • any other activity the Crown notifies us of in writing, with effect from the date of that notification (or the date as set out in the notification). 

In addition, loans cannot be used to fund:

  • dividends or on-lending outside your borrower guaranteeing group
  • refinancing existing debt, except for loans advanced on or after 16 March 2020 that meet other criteria (including the other criteria for BFS loans)
  • loans of less than 90 days.

Enquire about a Business Finance Scheme loan

Options if you’re not eligible

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Online lending

You may be eligible to apply online for a business loan or overdraft of up to $100,000, through QuickBiz^.

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Asset finance

You may be eligible for Asset Finance, which could release capital back into your business using equipment you already have as security, instead of personal or other business assets^.