Small businesses bear brunt of ongoing lockdowns

A fall in small business sales for the third consecutive month highlights the harm that has been done to small businesses in New Zealand, National’s Economic Development and Small Business spokesperson Todd McClay says.

The Xero Small Business Index data for September shows small businesses sales in Auckland were down 18.4 per cent, contributing to a national decline of 7.1 per cent.

“In real terms, this means Kiwis are having to run up debt and are losing their businesses in unprecedented numbers.

“As Auckland moves towards three months in lockdown, small businesses are running out of options. The prospects of another month with reduced sales will prove too difficult for many of our most promising small firms.

“Waikato’s small businesses have been told they can have lawn parties at home but not trade their way out of this demise – after four weeks of Level 3 restrictions, this isn’t good enough.

“Our small businesses worked hard to build back strong after last year’s lockdown. They did this despite a worker shortage and costly new red tape from Labour. September’s drop – the third month in a row – shows the Government’s decisions around Covid have cost businesses dearly.

“National has the solutions. Last week we announced our ‘Back to Business’ plan, with proposals that would reignite the economy and reward Kiwi workers and business-owners.

“There is strong support from the business community for our plan, but the Government stubbornly refuses to use it.

“Small businesses have done everything asked of them over the past 18 months. They have taken risks and backed themselves to survive.

“They deserve a Government that backs them, too”.