Targeted support needed for Auckland businesses
With another two weeks at Level 4 looming, ongoing support for businesses to cover rent and opex costs is needed.
“Auckland has been hit hard by COVID-19 and, with more than half a billion dollars of consumer spending lost in the city centre alone before this lockdown, some businesses will struggle to hang on for much longer. For example, some tourism related businesses are still massively down on 2019 sales and hospitality takes a major hit at every level until we get back to Level 1,” says Viv Beck, Chief Executive of Heart of the City.
“While people appreciate the support that is available, given the likely extended period of severe restrictions, Heart of the City supports the call by the Auckland Business Chamber to pay the Resurgence Support Payment weekly and we’d like to see an urgent response on this. It is simple to administer and while it won’t suit everyone, it could be quickly implemented once a decision is made about any extension of Level 4.”
In addition, Heart of the City wants to see the Resurgence Support payment being able to be tested against 2019 revenue as the wage subsidy can, to more fairly reflect the circumstances of businesses who are still deeply impacted by COVID-19.
“It would provide some relief and certainty to those businesses worried about surviving more weeks at Level 4 and with a prospect of further restrictions to trade beyond that as we move down the respective levels. We’d rather see a move on this now before it's too late for some.”