Auckland’s business owners face significant loss in value due to COVID-19

a month ago | 48


THOUSANDS of small and medium businesses (SME) in New Zealand’s largest city Auckland are in pain, frustrated at the lack of a clear plan to get them out of COVID-19 lockdown and increasingly bitter.

Auckland Business Chamber CEO Michael Barnett made this known on Thursday.

“Comments in a snap survey, responded to within hours by over 1,000 employers, repeatedly criticized government’s pursuit of a strategy.

“Strategy focused on health above and beyond all else when there are options to mitigate the financial carnage and damage to mental health and wellbeing,’’ he said.

The survey results showed that 90 percent of SME owners revealed significant erosion in equity, almost 50 percent lost in excess of 100,000 NZ dollars ($72,060).

Also, 75 percent funded the losses and daily operations by extending mortgages or using personal savings.

“This is significant and distressing for business owners.

“They have invested their lives in creating a viable business that feeds them, their staff and community.

“For many, this endless lockdown will have diluted retirement funds and imposed debt on family homes that previously wasn’t there,’’ he said.

Barnett said business needed specifics of a recovery plan with professional business support, mentoring, health and wellbeing back up as well as legal support to mandate vaccinations for employees.

“In spite of it all, 80 percent of businesses say they are determined to survive but will carry mental health scars that have damaged families and relationships and their confidence,’’ he said.

“The hope will be that the government will come up with the pathway that will lead to a better future when they release their plans.’’

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had said that Auckland and parts of Waikato would remain under the current level three restrictions for another two weeks.

The rest of New Zealand would remain under level two. (Xinhua/NAN)

 - Oct. 21, 2021 @ 14:14 GMT |

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