In just a couple of days over 1,500 Auckland business owners gave voice to their growing economic pessimism and their frustrations over no access to back to work RATs. Further concerns were expressed over red-light rules that were confusing, difficult to comply with and denying them – and employees – income and ability to service customers.
“Business confidence has been shaken,” said Auckland Business Chamber CEO, Michael Barnett. A review of the survey showed that 89% of businesses expect the economic environment will be the same or worse over the next six months, with just 11% of businesses who thought the business climate would improve in the next six months.
“Many enterprises, (86% of those surveyed), are telling us they are struggling with the red-light system, particularly the isolate and work-from-home mandates which are proving difficult and confusing to comply with and risked operational and service continuity impacting customer service and supply – and employee incomes,” he said.
“If you’re in manufacturing, operations and a wide range of customer facing sectors work from home is not feasible. The enabler to keep these critical functions and jobs secured, are rapid antigen tests, Barnett said.
“If they were available, 83% of businesses would be using them and have some certainty that they could function efficiently and have their workers, all of whom are essential and critical, on site, in jobs and able to be paid. “Mr Barnett said.
“Government needs to work with the private sector to ensure the red-light does not mean stop. It should be enabling business and providing the full range of tools, including testing kits, to keep businesses and jobs operating as close to normal as spelt out under the red-light protection framework.”
For more information, please contact Michael Barnett on 027 563 1150
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Business Chamber