The Restaurant Association of New Zealand is calling on the government to step up with tax cuts and financial assistance as many of its members report significant losses from the Covid-19 travel ban.
“We are fielding a number of calls from business owners in desperate situations, asking for advice as they face temporary closure,” says Restaurant Association Chief Executive Marisa Bidois.
“It’s not only restrictions on travel that are impacting businesses, but also through local diners staying home for fear of contracting the virus. And every day that passes, the impact from Covid-19 increases.”
A survey of Association members has shown that the hospitality industry is being significantly impacted by the Covid-19, with some reporting losses of up to 60 per cent.
“Latest figures show that figure is approximately $50 million in losses per week for the tourism industry of which we estimate approximately $6 million per week is being lost by hospitality businesses – a figure we expect to rise if travel restrictions extend to other regions.
“Add to this the strain from many city centre members affected by infrastructure upgrades, environmental issues, including drought and other weather conditions, and the industry is facing a level of unprecedented challenges”.
The Association’s efforts to raise these issues with Ministers have fallen on deaf ears – silence has followed numerous requests to meet.
“We are calling on the Government to set up and offer the hospitality industry immediate fiscal relief.
“Thousands of jobs are at risk, and many communities can’t afford this.”
Hospitality contributes more than $11 billion per year to our economy and is one of the country’s largest employers, so we’d really like to see them supported by the government.
The Association is offering hospitality businesses impacted by Covid-19 free emergency membership, which gives them immediate access to a range of legal, payroll and marketing advice, as well as on the ground support.