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Auckland business groups react to another week in level 4

September 13, 2021 3:41 pm
Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford

Another week of level 4 lockdown restrictions has been described as devastating news for Auckland businesses trying to survive on Government support.

Auckland will remain at level 4 until midnight next Tuesday and Cabinet has made an in-principle decision that Auckland will move to level 3 at that time.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said another fortnight of the wage subsidy will now be triggered by the extra week in alert level 4.

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And a further round of the resurgence support payments will open on Friday.

“If you think you might be eligible for assistance, tap into what’s there,” Ardern said.

Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford said that the extension to the level 4 lockdown in the Auckland region is “devastating news” for retailers and other businesses trying to survive the Covid-19 outbreak.

“While it is important for the Government to manage the current health crisis, the extension to the lockdown is hugely difficult for businesses and maybe a fatal blow for some,” Harford.

“What was meant to be a short, sharp, three-day lockdown is now moving into its fourth week.

“While the Government has provided some support via the Wage Subsidy and the Resurgence Support Payment, the reality is that this support is limited and will not be enough to stop businesses going to the wall.” he said.

As a raw estimate of the hit to GDP, every day in Level 4 is costing Auckland about $100 million in lost economic activity.

That figure is based on Treasury estimates that Level 4 lockdown results in a 25-30 per cent hit to activity and Auckland’s economy accounting for about 38 per cent of New Zealand’s total GDP.

But economists now view much of the suppressed activity as displaced rather than lost, based on the sharp V-shaped recovery New Zealand experienced last year.

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