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Businesses stressed and anxious: snapshot of sentiment during lockdown - BusinessNZ

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand businesses are stressed and anxious about lockdowns, low earnings, and uncertainty. They are generally supportive of NZ’s Covid policies but want to see more movement on vaccinations, testing and tracing, and want more targeted government support.

The BusinessNZ Network Pulse Survey was conducted during September 2021, tracking the views of 456 member businesses of the BusinessNZ Network.

The survey shows most Auckland businesses reeling from lockdown restrictions, with a high proportion unable to operate during the current lockdown. Around 40% of NZ businesses overall report being unable to trade under Level 4 conditions, but for Auckland the proportion could be twice as high, given survey comments. Businesses in Auckland want to see essential services reviewed so that more can operate safely under Level 4 restrictions.

Businesses in all parts of the country want improved Covid policies to increase uptake of vaccinations and availability of saliva testing. They support the move to compulsory QR Code scanning and record-keeping in workplaces but are not keen on vaccine passports for visitors to workplaces.

South Island businesses are concerned about getting goods from Auckland during Auckland’s Level 4 lockdown and say better Covid policies for testing and tracing would have allowed the South Island to avoid current level 2 restrictions.

84% of businesses throughout the country expect their earnings will be negatively affected over the next 3-6 months.

Businesses in many parts of the country raise concerns about blanket policies for government support, saying targeted support to the most affected industries is needed. Some businesses comment that resurgence support payments do not cover most fixed costs.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope said the survey of BusinessNZ Network members was a valuable snapshot of business conditions during a period of Covid-induced economic stress, and the BusinessNZ Network would use the findings to advocate for improved Covid policies in the future.

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