$45 million loss of spending and counting
Latest city centre spending figures show that city-centre businesses have lost over $45M over the last two weeks under Level 4, highlighting the need for additional financial relief says Viv Beck, Chief Executive of Heart of the City, the Auckland city centre business association.
Beck says that “Auckland has been hit hard by COVID-19. More than $45M of spending wiped out in two weeks is major, just imagine the impact this has on people and their businesses. Some will struggle to hang on for much longer. With an average loss of more than $35,000 per business and the likelihood that a shift down to other Levels won’t offer much relief for many, additional support is urgent.”
“On top of this big loss of revenue, they still have costs to pay and Heart of the City supports the call by the Auckland Business Chamber, and the thousands of businesses who have signed their petition, to pay the Resurgence Support Payment weekly. This won’t fully cover their costs but it means that there is a contribution towards both their staffing costs and their operating costs.
In addition, Heart of the City wants to see the Resurgence Support payment able to be tested against 2019 revenue as the wage subsidy can, to support those businesses that don’t qualify for this payment, even though they have been seriously impacted by the closed border.
“All stops must be pulled out to help businesses survive what is still a very uncertain period ahead. For example, the online rules need to be reviewed so they are fair and provide a level playing field. Businesses that can trade safely online should be able to operate. Sympathy for our businesses is not enough, they need tangible support.”