Businesses will close because of new Level 2 restrictions

Additional restrictions during Level 2 mean the jobs of many hospitality and event businesses have been made much harder by this Government, National’s Economic Development and Small Business spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“Bars, restaurants and events centres have had little to no income during Level 3 and 4, yet have seen rent, rates and many bills pile up.

“During previous Level 2 periods many businesses found it hard to make ends meet with restrictions of 100 customers able to be in a space at one time. Hospitality New Zealand and the Restaurant Association are saying that the new ‘Delta’ Level 2 restrictions make a desperate situation much worse with many of their members now facing closure.

“This is particularly frustrating for those in the South Island where there hasn’t been a case of community transmission in more than 300 days. 

“These businesses have done everything this Government has asked of them. Many continue to wait for wage subsidies so they can pay their staff with an increasing number of small businesses faced with borrowing more without any real income.

“Calls from sector leaders for the Government to step up to avoid carnage to this important industry are now urgent. There are serious and valid concerns that the Government does not understand how dire the situation is.

“National MPs have received calls from worried business owners who believe they can no longer open safely under these new Level 2 rules where previously they had managed to. For example, event venues are having to cancel Level 2 plans which allowed for up to 100 people because that number has been halved by the Government.

“The Government needs to listen to the concerns of these business owners and make clear to them when businesses will be able to return to normal. They should be apologising also for having sprung these changes on New Zealand despite having daily opportunities to give everyone prior warning.

“I call on the Government to clearly explain why the number of customers the hospitality sector can host has been reduced and what measures the Government will take to ensure these hardworking Kiwis and their small businesses are still there after Level 2-D ends.”