Coronavirus: Jacinda Ardern announces $4m funding to businesses financially impacted by disease

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a multi-million-dollar boost to support businesses as the financial impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus hits home.

She says the funding will help those who feel their companies aren't coping with a loss of income due to the disease.

"Cabinet agreed today to an extra funding of $4 million for the programme, that will allow for extra advisors and give them more time on the ground supporting businesses," she says.

And ANZ's chief economist is forecasting the Reserve Bank will slash the Official Cash Rate significantly in response.  

"At the moment we don't have a recession in our forecasts, but we're getting perilously close to it," ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner says.

She is expecting the Official Cash Rate to be cut by 50 basis points at the next review, and is predicting a follow up 25 basis point cut in May.

"That would take the Official Cash Rate to just 0.25 percent, which would be a fresh record low for New Zealand," she says.

One Auckland mother and owner of a reusable cloth nappy company who is feeling the impacts of COVID-19 says it's causing huge problems.

"We are very low on stock and waiting for a big shipment, and that's all delayed," Megan Anderson says.

Manufacturers are slowly returning to work, but Anderson says her order from late-2019 won't arrive for another three weeks.

"We're basically in survival mode."

It isn't just small operators feeling the effects of COVID-19 - in an effort to combat softening domestic demand, Air New Zealand offered 1000 domestic flights for $9.

And daily trade data released by Statistics New Zealand today shows our exports have taken a dive.

Exports to China fell $1.1 billion in a four-week period from the end of January - that's about $93 million less than the same time last year.

The NZX also continues to suffer, opening down 3.2 percent on Monday morning but bouncing back in the afternoon.

But while COVID-19 is causing headaches, one business has taken off.

Zeeno Group CEO Paul Hislop's anti-microbial coating product - that kills everything on surfaces - has been found effective against COVID-19, and unsurprisingly he's seen huge global interest.  

"For the first six months of the year we did $2 million in revenue. In the last four weeks we've done $6 million in revenue," he says.

A rare success as the financial impacts of COVID-19 are felt across the globe.