Coronavirus: What to expect from the Government's support package for businesses - economist

Kiwi businesses are floundering under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic and the Government says it will extend a financial lifeline - but what could that look like?

The details of the Government's specially-crafted 'Business Continuity Package' will be announced on Tuesday and it's expected to lend a hand to business most heavily-impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Kirk Hope, the chief executive officer of Business New Zealand, says there are a few things he expects to see in the budget.

"Certainly they're going to announce a wage subsidy package - that's going to help businesses to pay their employees," Hope told The Project on Monday.

"We'd suggest to them they might want to introduce a sick leave component in there for people undergoing quarantine or are in self-isolation or are sick - those are the immediate things."

He says other options could be delaying provisional taxes for the hardest-hit businesses or delaying GST payments.

"Those are the things that reduces cash flow for businesses."

The money shouldn't just cover wage and salaried workers, Hope says. Contractors need to be protected from the economic impact of the virus too.

"They have families to feed as well, and the package needs mechanisms to cover those people."

The details of the budget will be announced on Tuesday. Newshub will run special coverage on TV3 from 2pm until 2:30pm.