Business Associations Urge Auckland Council To Devise Better Response To Covid-19
The impact of the recent Level 4 lockdown and the slow, indefinite transition back to the ‘new normal’ has been extensively covered in the media. Businesses on every level are being affected. While SMEs especially in the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors are the most vulnerable, the impact scales back to larger businesses and property owners.
Newmarket & Parnell are uncertain as to the full extent of the fall out on their respective town centres, but anticipate a number of businesses will not re-open. Cheryl Adamson, GM of Parnell Business Association said ”property owners could find themselves with vacant sites, not only as a result of closures, but also reduced demand for retail, and commercial office space.”
While acknowledging that central government has come up with a raft of measures to assist business, Adamson added “the ongoing restrictions on bricks and mortar retailers and hospitality providers means each passing day will be the end of the line for some.”
The government ‘s response will never be able to do enough to keep everyone afloat, but a large number of jobs will be saved. Unemployment can still be expected to nudge into the double digits though. July looks to be the month when reality will sink in for many businesses, those who claimed the wage subsidy will then need to determine the viability of their future – the same month new local body rates increases are scheduled to kick in.
Mark Knoff-Thomas, CEO of Newmarket Business Association commented “Auckland Council needs to take a close look at what more they can do. For example, should they remove their self-imposed debt to revenue cap, borrow more, and cancel any proposed rates increases? Yes, very likely. Everything must be re-considered at this extraordinary time. The last thing businesses and property owners need right now is any further financial pressure.”
In light of the current economic climate both the Newmarket and Parnell Business Association have decided to voluntarily postpone the additional increases in their respective targeted rates (due to be implemented from July) that were approved at their AGMs in 2019.
Mark Knoff-Thomas & Cheryl Adamson
Newmarket & Parnell Business Associations
About the Newmarket Business Association
The Newmarket Business Association was incorporated in 1937. It is one of the largest business associations of its type in New Zealand. The association delivers strategies to promote the precinct and advocates on behalf of all the business sectors within the defined boundary.