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Missed Opportunity To Help Struggling Auckland Businesses

The Government has missed an opportunity with a convoluted voucher scheme which fails to address the businesses that are hurting the most, says National’s Economic Development, Small Business and Tourism spokesperson Todd McClay.

“For some reason the Government has decided the businesses that need help to get back on their feet, as Auckland comes out of a three month lockdown, are council-owned facilities like swimming pools and the zoo.

“I’m sure the families who are lucky enough to receive a free trip to the zoo will appreciate it, but it’s hard to see how this is going to help stimulate Auckland’s battered economy or address the months of economic damage Auckland’s bars, restaurants and tourism businesses have faced.

“There is nothing in this package for hospitality, accommodation or tourism businesses, many of whom are on the brink of failure.

“There is nothing to make it easier to trade such as overriding outdoor dining restrictions.

“There is nothing to help small business owners access the cash they will need to survive a traffic light disrupted summer.

“There is nothing to reduce the burden of Government costs, taxes or regulations that make it hard for small businesses to thrive even at the best of times.

“Not only that, but it seems the scheme is so half-baked it’s not even ready to go, with Aucklanders having to wait two weeks to find out what bureaucratic hoops they will have to jump through to get their hands on a voucher.

“Weeks ago, National proposed a simple, $100 voucher for every fully vaccinated adult which can be spent at any hospitality, accommodation or tourism business in the country.

“It’s not too late for the Government to adopt this approach, and provide a real shot in the arm for businesses who have been most affected by the Covid lockdown.”

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