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Almost A Fifth Of Waikato Businesses Will Close If Lockdown Goes Beyond 8 Weeks: Poll

A Waikato business confidence poll shows 17% of Waikato businesses will close if the lockdown extends beyond eight weeks.

The Waikato Chamber of Commerce’s poll of its business members found that if the lockdown continues past eight weeks, then nearly 20% of businesses may close.

The poll was conducted last Friday and will be repeated fortnightly.

“This poll result shows just how important it is for the Government to have an exit plan which business understands,” Don Good, executive director of the Chamber said.

“While 67% of the respondents to the poll believe the Government is doing a good job managing the current situation, the hard reality is that Waikato businesses are feeling the pain of this sudden lockdown.”

A point that is often missed in New Zealand business is that small to medium businesses are run by passionate entrepreneurs and that this lockdown does cause mental stress. When asked about their stress levels, respondents indicated that a large number of business owners are struggling with the mental stress aspects of the economic shock.

“A question that we wanted an answer to was how are you handling the current situation from a mental stress perspective? The result nearly 40% saying it’s tough, through to they are really struggling is telling. We as a community need to look after and support our local businesses. They are the ones who provide jobs and income for the 90,000 workers in Hamilton.”

The survey had some positives in it too. Nearly 40% said they’d never close their business in the current situation.

“This survey is very sobering, and a difficult one to put out there. However, decision makers in local and central government need to be aware of the very real sentiment of fear out there. The authorities must have strong and realistic plans to bring us out of lockdown, if they don’t, then we fear that the survey results might come to fruition. But our team and the Chamber will push hard to ensure the best-case scenario happens for the Waikato.”

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