“The pressure and uncertainly placed on small businesses this lockdown has been enormous and the Government needs to do more to offer certainty,” says ACT’s Small Business spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“Restaurant and cafe owners will be beside themselves wondering whether to order food or not. If the level changes at 3pm today, it leaves them no time to prepare to open tomorrow.

“But that stress will pale in comparison to covering their costs over the past week. For many, the Wage Subsidy doesn’t entirely cover wages. The payment may just cover rent, power and insurance - costs that don’t go away over a lockdown.

“They’ll also continue to take a hit during Levels 2 and 3 as they’re limited to what can take place, these restrictions can make it impossible to turn a profit.

“That’s along with organising staff to police the use of the COVID Tracer App.

“We’ve had 18-months since the last lockdown to get prepared. Businesses deserved to know that work was being done to ensure we weren’t yo-yoing in and out of lockdown.

“This is all on top of minimum wage increases, a new statutory holiday, so-called Fair Pay Agreements and paid time off for parent/teacher interviews. ACT is calling on the Government to give businesses a break and back off pushing these ideological laws through.

“The COVID Recovery Fund should have been set aside to help businesses instead of being spent on cameras for fishing boats and school lunches.

“Along with testing and tracing being improved, there should have been practical steps in place like a Major Events Insurance Fund, and a COVID Tracer App lottery.

“Jacinda Ardern and her Ministers should be more upfront with New Zealanders about how they’re making decisions that impact us all. Hustling staff and supplies within hours of decisions being made is stress businesses don’t need.”

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