Auckland’s lockdown is damaging economic activity and confidence and increasing anxiety among hard hit business owners, says Auckland Business Chamber CEO Michael Barnett after a roundtable with other Chambers in the top half of the North Island.
“Government needs to use a scalpel not a sledgehammer as a response to Covid-19 outbreaks and lockdown the borders, not business, to contain the spread,” he said. “Shutdowns are not sustainable. As soon as Auckland is closed down, the economic impacts are severe across sectors nationwide from the tourism operator in Queenstown to the roadside café in the Far North. Jobs are going to be cut. Health and wellbeing are being affected.”
Mr Barnett said the Chambers have identified that business owners are becoming increasingly fearful about their future citing concerns that if a workplace has people diagnosed with Covid then their business will not just be closed temporarily but the risk of association with the virus will be the “final nail”.
“The reason people are in business does not change, but how businesses operate will. Businesses that can operate safely must be given the certainty that they will be able to operate. The consequence of government dropping the ball at any point of the containment chain has a very long tail. The economic chill from Auckland’s lockdown shows the spread is nationwide. Business cannot bear the burden of lockdowns again and again. There has to be a better plan.”
For more information contact Michael Barnett, mobile: 0275 631 150.
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Business Chamber.