Red Setting Suffocating Hospitality

According to an Auckland business leader, the latest numbers show that hospitality trade is down over 30 percent compared to the same time last year. If extra Government support is not given in the coming weeks and months, we’ll sadly see more business closures and job losses.

The Takapuna Business Association has released the latest Marketview data for the North Shore metropolitan centre under the Red setting. For the week ending 6 February, total retail spend in Takapuna was down 21.8 percent compared to the same week last year.

Takapuna Business Association chief executive, Terence Harpur, has joined other business and hospitality representatives calling on the Government to reintroduce previous support packages before the Omicron variant sweeps through country forcing more patrons and staff into self-isolation.

“With public health experts predicting a tsunami of infections, the coming months will be the toughest time for businesses since the Covid pandemic started two years ago. Let’s not forget businesses have still not recovered from Auckland’s four-month lockdown late last year. On top of this, there is now considerably less financial support,” said Harpur.

“A form of resurgence payment and wage subsidy should again be available to those businesses suffering a 30 percent or more drop in revenue due to the Red setting. While the short-term absence payment and leave support scheme are a step in the right direction, they do not go far enough.”

What’s more, he said, businesses are hesitant to increase their borrowings under the small business cashflow scheme as many are already carrying high levels of debt.

Meanwhile, 58 percent of hospitality owners have told a survey that they are preparing for insolvency within the next three months.