Businesses struggling day-to-day under Covid restrictions desperately need Government support

Each day matters for hardworking businesses struggling under Level 4 lockdown in Auckland and new Level 2 restrictions elsewhere in the country, National’s Economic Development and Small Business spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“The Government this week again said it would consider more support for businesses as the Covid lockdown restrictions drag into a fifth week. However, for too many business it will be too late – unless Grant Robertson acts now.

“The number of likely business casualties is growing daily without additional Government assistance. Levels of distress in Auckland are extreme, and small businesses around the country continue to struggle.

“Calls to National MPs from business owners who have run out of options are growing in number by the day.

“New, more restrictive Level 2 rules such as a limit of 50 people in restaurants and bars means thousands of businesses will not be sustainable and will need to take on more debt to survive.

“Many of these businesses covered their costs last week using the Government’s one-off resurgence payment. However, this week’s rent is now due and next week’s bills are piling up. All the while, the Government sits on its hands.

“Last week, Mr Robertson said he would consider National’s proposal to assist businesses struggling to pay their rent as a result of Covid restrictions. But, this week, he said the Minister of Justice was still looking at it. I say to Mr Robertson: these hardworking Kiwis cannot wait one more week. They need a decision now.

“With more than 80 per cent of hospitality businesses saying they are unsustainable after four weeks of restrictions, the Government needs to recognise this is serious. It must act now.

“Kiwis have done everything asked of them by the Government. We have all made significant sacrifices. But businesses need the Government to recognise their sacrifice and make a decision on additional support.

“They are fast running out of time.”