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Auckland hospitality 'likely to lose money for another month'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Central Auckland MP Chlöe Swarbrick learned today what it is like for city centre hospitality businesses to have zero income for a month, and no hope of good income for many more weeks yet.

Businesses on a zoom meeting held by Swarbrick presented details on their financial difficulties and why they feel this lockdown is dramatically different.

Jamie Freeman, President of Hospitality NZ Auckland Branch said businesses had only just recovered from losses incurred during 2020 lockdowns and were now all back in debt - with no idea if they could recover this time.

"The whole of Auckland has done it hard, but hospitality has had the worst of it - zero income for a month with large bills like rent still to be paid.

"Most hospitality businesses have gone into debt during this lockdown, and won’t break even under Level 2 restrictions either."

Freeman said the failure of the rest of the country to bounce back under Level 2.5 was deeply worrying for Auckland hospitality.

"We’re deeply concerned that once we get to Level 2.5, people are still not going to venture out.

"Auckland businesses have to consider the possibility of not making a profit for at least another month, and maybe more. That’s a dire situation.

"We urgently need weekly resurgence payments, and a promise of a wage subsidy under Level 2.

"It’s possible that only a special Auckland business hardship grant will prevent some local businesses folding."

Freeman said he was impressed with Swarwick’s effort and openness and looked forward to discussing when his organisation met directly with Swarbrick next week.

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