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Businesses across the northern region of New Zealand believe they will survive lockdown but are struggling with 60 per cent operating, but 90 per cent of them only part-time.

A joint survey cent of 2000 companies by the Northern Chambers of Commerce showed that 64 per cent of businesses were confident of surviving the latest lockdown but the balance remains at risk, particularly those in tourism, hospitality and retail.

Auckland Chamber CEO, Michael Barnett said that 75 per cent of Auckland enterprises were operating – more than the other regions – with 80 per cent confident they would be able to go the distance. But 95 per cent of those respondents also said they would be claiming the wage subsidy and other support to hold staff and mitigate some of the recurrent costs.

“Small and medium businesses are not giving up but struggling with the uncertain environment, and have shown every intent to keep on operating,” he said.

“But the longer we remain in level 4 the greater the damage to this sector.”

Tauranga businesses were also hard hit with 98 per cent operating only part time, reflecting the heavy constraints on business under the Level 4 conditions, said Tauranga Chamber CEO, Matt Cowley.

“Government should consider better support for small and medium businesses through a weekly resurgence package and a more regional approach to lockdown,” he said, echoing other chambers’ concerns on what constitutes essential business and hopes for a reset on levels to be signalled by Government this Friday.

Taupo Chamber President, Rory Scott said the survey results painted a gloomy outlook for his region with 84 per cent of firms saying they may not survive this lockdown, reflecting the high number of businesses linked to tourism.

Government support packages were seen as a key part of survival plans with some 60 per cent of the surveyed businesses across the northern regions intending to access the wage subsidy and resurgence packages. Waikato was the exception.

Waikato Chamber CEO, Don Good said that business in Waikato has been strong, especially in farming and technology associated sectors.

“Less than 10 per cent of businesses are eyeing the Government support schemes, but this could change with an extended Level 4,” he said.

Waikato and Auckland were also more positive about their abilities to avoid redundancies this time.

Key Points.

60% of businesses are operating but 90% of them are just part time
64% of businesses are confident of surviving the pandemic
Redundancies were more likely outside of the Auckland and Waikato regions
60% of businesses will access the Government support schemes with Waikato companies less likely to use the subsidy.

For more information, please contact
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Business Chamber on 027 563 1150
Don Good, Chief Executive, Waikato Chamber of Commerce on 029 823 3533
Matt Cowley, Chief Executive, Tauranga Chamber of Commerce on 027 698 9548
Rory Scott, President, Taupo Chamber of Commerce on 021 154 6724

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