This page brings together information relating to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), how it may affect your business and how you can stay up to date as new information becomes available.

COVID-19 official resources updated daily.

Join us for our series of free webinars specifically designed to support business through the impact of COVID-19.

For advice or support specific to your situation, please contact The Chamber.

Impact on business

It is important that individuals, workplaces and Government have a pandemic plan so we can:

  • Minimise the impact of the disease on the people of New Zealand;
  • Enable society to continue to function as normally as possible during and after a pandemic; and
  • Minimise the impact on our economy.

The Ministry of Health has put together a guide on the impact of a pandemic on business, what businesses may experience and areas to plan for. It is important to consider these factors and plan for how they may affect your ability to run your business. 

Areas to plan for include:

  • How you will maintain your essential services or activities with high numbers of staff absence over an extended period;
  • What essential goods and services you rely on and how you will manage any disruptions to supply;
  • How you can implement alternative work practices in your workplace (for example, social distancing measures, remote working capability);
  • What services will need additional support to meet a surge in demand (for example, IT support services); and
  • How you can protect your workers and reduce the risk of spread of the pandemic influenza virus in your workplace.
Read more about pandemic preparedness on the MoH website.

Disruption planning

The key is to be prepared, which is why we are working closely with businesses to ensure they have planning in place – not just for this issue, but any kind of business interruption. Please click here to view our resource. 

If you would like to discuss the impact on your business or would like help in reviewing your emergency plans and procedures, please get in touch with The Chamber’s Employment Relations Advisors (details at the end of the page).

Impact on export/import sector

As an exporter or importer, including businesses and organisations in the tourist sector, please contact our Business and International Trade Advisor Shirley van Waveren if you have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. As part of our BusinessNZ/ExportNZ networks, we are able to directly engage with government Ministers and departments to communicate concerns and trends to ensure government policy is able to respond accordingly. Shirley is also able to provide advice and support on any organisation-specific concerns or questions, and connect you with other agencies or experts where needed.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has also launched an information page on its website to help exporters affected by the outbreak. The page brings together information from NZTE, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Ministry for Primary Industries to enable exporters to stay up-to-date on the latest developments and plan, prepare and mitigate any potential impact from the outbreak - visit

Exporters are encouraged to visit the page, which includes contact details to report any export issues.

Prevention in the workplace

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, employers have a legal duty to ensure the safety of employees while at work. In the context of this virus (and any others like it), this means taking measures to prevent both employees who are travelling to, or coming back from, affected areas from contracting the disease or allowing others in the workplace to contract it from an infected person. 

WHO advise people follow basic principles to reduce risk of the virus spreading. These are:
- Avoid close contact with people suffering acute respiratory infections
- Wash hands frequently, especially after contact with ill people or their environment
- Avoid close contact with sick farm animals or wild animals
- People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette: 
          o     Maintain distance
          o     Cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing
          o     Wash hands

The Ministry has also outlined a number of actions that businesses can take to minimise the spread of infectious diseases in the workplace - read more here.

As different businesses and organisations may be impacted in different ways, if you would like to discuss the implications of this advice, please get in touch with our team directly on the details below.

For more information and advice, please contact The Chamber on 03 366 5096, or the COVID-19 South Island Business Helpline 0800 50 50 96.

Further information:
- Disruption Planning for Employers
- Continuity and Contingency Planning β€” - Health: Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) β€” Ministry of Health - Exporters: Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Information for exporters β€” New Zealand Trade and Enterprise - Tax: Tax relief – Coronavirus COVID-19 β€” Inland Revenue
- Immigration: Coronavirus update: INZ’s response β€” Immigration New Zealand
- Travel: Novel coronavirus, China (Covid-19) β€” SafeTravel (MFAT) - Tourism: Coronavirus – Information for industry β€” Tourism New Zealand - Workplace response: Workplace response to coronavirus β€” Employment New Zealand
- Workplace preparedness: Workplace preparedness for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) β€” WorkSafe New Zealand
- Redundancy information: Coronavirus: Redundancy information for employers β€” Work and Income - Landlords/tenants: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – what landlords and tenants need to know β€” Tenancy Services - Education sector: Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) β€” Ministry of Education
- Small business: Coronavirus: Information for businesses -
Accommodation sector: COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) - Information for hotels and hotel staff

The Chamber

As the home and voice of Canterbury business, we are here to help.  Being part of the BusinessNZ Network, we are here to offer advice and support for businesses through the impacts of Covid-19.

For advice specific to your situation, please contact The Chamber on 0800 50 50 96 or 03 366 5096, or email [email protected] or contact one of The Chamber’s advisory team. See all The Chamber contact information on our Advice and Support page.