Auckland’s tens of thousands of small and medium businesses are in pain, frustrated at the lack of a clear plan to get them out of lockdown and increasingly bitter says Auckland Business Chamber CEO, Michael Barnett.

“Comments in a snap survey, responded to within hours by over 1,000 employers, repeatedly criticise government’s pursuit of a strategy focused on health above and beyond all else when there are options to mitigate the financial carnage and damage to mental health and wellbeing,” he says.

The survey results are ugly with 90 per cent of SME owners revealing significant erosion in equity, almost 50 per cent losing in excess of $100,000, and 75 per cent funding the losses and daily operations by extending mortgages or using personal savings.

“This is significant and distressing for business owners. They have invested their lives in creating a viable business that feeds them, their staff, and community.  For many this endless lockdown will have diluted retirement funds and imposed debt on family homes that previously wasn’t there.”

Barnett said business needed specifics of a recovery plan with professional business support, mentoring, health and wellbeing backup and legal support to mandate vaccinations for employees.

“Despite it all 80 per cent of businesses say they are determined to survive but will carry mental health scars that have damaged families and relationships and their confidence,” he said. “The hope will be that Government will come up with the pathway that will lead to a better future when they release their plans.”

 

For more information, please contact Michael Barnett on 027 563 1150
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Business Chamber