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Quake support extended to all businesses

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/11/2016

All businesses in the Kaikoura district that have been seriously affected by the earthquake will receive wage subsidies, the government has announced.

When the support measure was announced last week, it was limited to companies with fewer than 20 staff.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says it's clear larger businesses also need help to retain staff.

"The really unique aspect in Kaikoura is the complete loss of the road access north and south, that has a particularly dramatic impact on the larger tourism businesses in Kaikoura," he said on Tuesday.

"The employment subsidy will now be available for all companies in Kaikoura, Cheviot, Waiau, Rotherham, Mt Lyford and Ward that experience a sudden, large and sustained drop in revenue as a result of the earthquake."

The subsidies cover up to eight weeks at $500 a week for full time employees and $300 a week for part-time workers.

Mr Joyce announced the extension after talking to businesses in the area. He says some, such as retail, will be able to recover reasonably quickly.

"This subsidy is for those that simply can't operate for an extended period and who don't have business continuity insurance."

When the scheme was first announced, it was costed at an estimated $7.5 million. Mr Joyce hasn't given a figure for the extended scheme.

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