Monday, 6 September 2021

ACT calls for weekly resurgence payments


“Businesses are doing it tough through no fault of their own and the Government needs to step up with further resurgence payments,” says ACT’s Small Business spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“The payment should be available every week that a business is under Alert Level 4 or 3, and extend to Alert Level 2 for hospitality businesses.

“Auckland is facing several more weeks in lockdown. For many businesses, the initial resurgence payment didn’t cover one week’s rent. We are about to start our fourth week in lockdown. Rent, rates, electricity, and other costs haven’t stopped.

“It’s one thing to hope for a recovery when lockdowns eventually lift, but businesses need to keep their working capital in tact so they’re still around to benefit from it.

“The resurgence payment should be made weekly, just like rent, rates, and other bills carry on every week. Businesses all over New Zealand have suffered from this lockdown.

"Hospitality businesses face an additional burden under Alert Level 2. The requirements for spacing, and a single server per table mean they can often open legally, but not profitably.

“While businesses have also received the Wage Subsidy, that doesn’t entirely cover wages and most businesses are having to top it up, with no money coming in.

“The increase to the minimum wage this year means the subsidy is worth less than it was last year.

“The levels may change for some later this week but the pain for businesses won’t. Level 3 is no good to almost all hospitality businesses and Level 2 isn’t much better. More staff need to be employed for single service rules. Fewer people are allowed in the premises.

“The uncertainty is almost too much for most business owners to take.

“This Government talks about kindness and mental health, the business owners I have spoken to are struggling and there’s nothing kind about it.”