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The Cost To Business For Lockdown Is Too High

Government says they learned things from the last lockdown so if they did can we do things differently and let all businesses that can comply with Covid-19 safety measures stay open, says Auckland Business Chamber CEO Michael Barnett.

“The cost to businesses locked down and out of their livelihoods is too high,” he said. “Why can a dairy open and a supermarket sell fresh fruit and vegetables, but your local greengrocer cannot? It would be much better for the economy and wellbeing of the community to allow shops to operate if they follow the strict compliance and safety requirements that can be enforced for each alert level.”

Many small businesses, particularly in hospitality and retail, are teetering with reserves run down, jobs at risk and confidence shaken, forced to shut their doors because they are not on government’s list of essential retail and services, Mr Barnett said.

“They’ll need help and Government needs to tell us now their support plan to get business back on the road to recovery and keep people employed.”

Mr Barnett said the country has to progress to a compliance and containment regime where each and every one of us follows the rules and adopts strict protocols to keep us all safe.

“Country or region wide lockdowns are quite devastating though obviously an effective default if the goal remains to eliminate this virus. But, without a vaccine we have to learn to live with it. We have to employ robust processes, systems and smart technology to speed up testing, tracking and tracing to contain Covid-19 without leaving New Zealand stranded as an island fortress at the edge of the world.”

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