ANZ New Zealand says it's launching a dedicated fund through which it aims to lend at least NZ$500 million over two years to start-up businesses.
Fred Ohlsson, managing director of ANZ Business Banking, said the fund comes with Statistics New Zealand figures showing business start-ups at their lowest level since at least 2000, meaning New Zealand risks becoming an “employment backwater” unless more is done to help people turn ideas into new businesses that will create jobs.
The fund also comes after ANZ in Australia last month said it would lend A$1 billion over one year to the small business sector.
In a statement Ohlsson said ANZ's start-up package included;
A dedicated fund of at least NZ$500 million over two years for new lending to support business start-ups across New Zealand
Streamlined process making it quicker and easier for those with viable business plans to secure start-up funding
No transaction fees for the first year on your ANZ Business Current Account
Free workshops across New Zealand, open to customers and non-customers with new business ideas
An online resource centre with free information and advice covering each stage of starting a business – available at anz.co.nz/bizhub
“Small firms with one to 20 staff are the engine room of the New Zealand economy, accounting for 90 per cent of businesses and one in three jobs. Our business start-up package reflects ANZ’s commitment to enterprise and is an investment in New Zealand’s economic future,” Ohlsson said.
He said business "deaths" had outnumbered business "births" over the last three years meaning the total number of companies has been in decline since 2009.
“It is alarming that nearly 30,000 fewer businesses were born last year than in 2004, yet new enterprises are the key to creating jobs. If we’re serious about getting unemployment down in New Zealand we must do all we can to boost business start-ups," said Ohlsson.
ANZ customers say there are two key things they require to get the confidence to start a business Ohlsson added. These are access to advice and tools, and access to capital.