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Businesses Affected By Coronavirus Strongly Encouraged To Seek Assistance

Auckland Business Chamber strongly agree with Government action encouraging banks to be flexible (with interest rates) and proactive with business clients.

“However, any business with a coronavirus issue should contact the Chamber of Commerce. We can help determine what support to seek from Government and where to go,” said Chamber CEO Michael Barnett.

The Chamber already appreciate there are sectors – tourism, manufacturers, importers and exporters, transport – with a range of supply difficulties.

A business awaiting essential parts from China may have to reduce hours for employees. “We are urging the Government to consider a short-term top up of salaries and wages.”

There are two reasons for this critical support, besides avoiding the business having to close. First, it would show a commitment to employees in terms of immediate needs such as paying rent, hire purchase and food on the table.

Second, an emergency support package would avoid the long-term consequences if the employees was forced to leave the business. For example, rehiring staff, training and a longer delay in getting business back up and running.

Barnett said he appreciated that Government was in regular contact with business and other stakeholders about how coronavirus is affecting cashflow, and understands the need for a tailor-made response.

“Many businesses are sometimes reluctant to call on government. Contacting the Chamber will allow us to get a critical support message to key areas where help can result.

“I agree a one-size-fits-all approach is not what is needed, and it is important that Government departments and agencies realise this.”

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