Today’s changes to alert levels will do little to ease the pain being suffered by hospitality businesses, said Hospitality New Zealand.
“It’s the same story. Day by day it’s getting tougher for businesses to retain staff and keep the lights on,” said Chief Executive Julie White.
“Some in Auckland will open, mostly cafes and traditional fast food, and that’s great for them, even though business will be way down.
“But many are telling us fewer of them will open than in previous Level 3’s because they they’ve exhausted their reserves to keep running.
“That’s what Level 3 means for many of them – not opening means money not coming in, but opening is actually money going out the door.
“The Government concedes Level 3 is still very restrictive, and there’s at least a further two weeks of it.
“When you add that to the 34 days of Level 4 lockdown, that means the majority of Auckland hospitality and accommodation businesses would have gone at least 48 days with zero revenue.
“Allowing businesses in the rest of New Zealand to have 100 people indoors make a difference for some, though larger venues will still struggle.
“It’s clear for all to see that our sector has been hardest hit and will be longest to come back.
“That’s why we need a targeted payment on top of a continuation of the wage subsidy and an extension of the Resurgence Support Payment for those who meet the criteria through Level 2.
The Minister of Finance has said he expects the economy to bounce back, but our concern is the hospitality sector will be left to bounce without them.
“Without targeted support, ours will be a dead cat bounce.
“Along with the health measures, the uncertainty is killing out the industry," concluded White.