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Alert Level 1 A Relief But Many Businesses Will Still Struggle

The EMA says its 7000 members and businesses across the country are relieved at the Government’s announcement of Alert Level 1 from midnight tonight but warns the hard work for the economy lies ahead.

Head of Advocacy and Strategy, Alan McDonald, says the move to Level 1 should give employees and employers the confidence to return to their workplaces and rebuild their businesses.

"We can be rightly proud of controlling COVID-19, but now we need to see people and confidence returning to our CBDs and businesses. We need a similar nationwide response to kick-starting the economy," he says.

"We feel for the many employers who’ve seen their business close or have been forced to lay-off valued staff who in many cases were also friends. We also feel for the many thousands of people who have lost their jobs. It’s been an incredibly tough time and unfortunately the closures and redundancies are by no means ending with the move to Level 1.

"For many it is too late but now we need a national response to get people flowing back through our town centres, back to work and getting the economy moving. International uncertainty and lack of confidence in the domestic economy means we need to see measures that will help restore the confidence of business owners, investors, workers and consumers to get the dollars flowing again. We need to get the economy on a fast-track to recovery."

"With the lack of cases and the excellent regimes businesses have put in place to maintain people’s health no one should have any concerns about getting straight back to work," he says.

Mr McDonald says that while recent news of the wage subsidy extension will be will be welcomed by the 40,000 eligible, the EMA was also keen to discuss a comprehensive comeback plan.

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