The Māori Trustee (Te Tumu Paeroa) has established a Top-Up Māori Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme, making an additional $10m available for Māori SMEs to meet core operating costs.

The Top-Up Loan Scheme will provide further assistance for Māori SMEs impacted by the COVID-19 economic shock to support their immediate cash flow needs and meet fixed costs.

Māori SMEs that have received a loan through the IRD administered Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme will be able to apply for 50% of the loan amount from the Māori Trustee on substantially similar terms, including an interest-free first year if the loan is repaid within 12 months.

The Top-Up Loan Scheme will be open to online applications from Thursday 18 June 2020 and remain open for a month or until $10m is committed to eligible applicants.  Information and terms of the Top-Up Loan Scheme can be viewed on the website.

The Top-Up Scheme recognises that Māori owned businesses generally have a lot more owners, and so Māori SME failure is likely to have a disproportionately negative impact on whānau that rely on these businesses, said Te Tumu Paeroa’s Chief Executive Dr Charlotte Severne.

Māori SMEs are a fundamental expression of Māori entrepreneurship and identity.  They are a source of pride and sustain our people and our communities.  Cashflow is the life-blood of SMEs and the Top-Up package recognises that some Māori SMEs will need additional financial support as they seek to rebuild, she said.

Top-Up Loans will be advanced from the Māori Trustee’s General Purposes Fund, a fund administered by the Māori Trustee for the benefit of Māori under the Māori Trustee Act 1953.