The scheme is available to eligible New Zealand-based businesses, that have been impacted by COVID-19, with an annual revenue of up to $200 million. Each eligible business can apply for a loan of up to $5 million. If you’re not eligible there are other financial assistance options that may suit your business needs. 

Key points of the BFS loans

  • Loan terms at a special fixed rate are for a maximum of five years (minimum one year). 
  • Funds are limited, and the availability of loans is subject to certain exclusions^.
  • You can repay in part or full at any time, with no early repayment costs. 
  • Loans must be drawn down on or before 30 June 2021, or until the scheme funds have been allocated. 
  • The loan must be for the purpose of one or more of the following:
    • responding to the impacts of COVID-19
    • positioning yourself to recover from the impacts of COVID-19
    • recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.
  • We’ll require our usual security arrangements, which may include a General Security Agreement (GSA) and personal guarantees (where applicable).
  • You may refinance up to 20% of your existing BNZ business debt on the scheme^.

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 (cash flow, business operations, suppliers, customers)
  • what steps you have taken so far to lessen the impact (Government wage subsidy scheme, IRD small business cashflow scheme, reduced fixed and variable costs changes)
  • approximately how long it would take for your business to resume normal trading activity.  


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

  • residential or 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 greater than 20% of existing debt, except for loans advanced on or after 16 March 2020 that meet other criteria (including the other criteria for BFS loans)^.

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.

Illustration Medium Business

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.

Illustration Experts


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.

Illustration Insurance

Information disclosure

To be eligible for a loan, you’ll need to agree to our requirement to disclose information to the Crown and any government bodies (including government ministries and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand). This includes your personal information relating to BFS loans. 

Options if you’re not eligible

Illustration MutipleDevices1

Online lending

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

Illustration Commercialcar

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^.

Illustration Website2

Government support

You may be eligible for other types of Government financial support. Some options are: Wage Subsidy and Leave schemes, Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme, and business cash flow and tax measures.