Hospitality Business Magazine

Targeted payment needed before more liquidations

Extending Auckland lockdown means more pain, more urgency for targeted help, says Hospitality New Zealand.

Extending Auckland’s lockdown increases the likelihood of more hospitality operators going out of business, making it even more imperative the Government comes up with a targeted payment for the sector, says Hospitality New Zealand.

“We know lockdown needed to be extended as long as there are mystery cases in the community – we get that and we support it,” says Chief Executive Julie White.

“But every single day hospitality and accommodation businesses are unable to trade brings more pain and more likelihood of liquidations.

“And even though the Government has signalled a move to Level 3 next week, that’s not going to make a lot of difference because the difference between Level 4 and Level 3 is miniscule.

“Cafes, bars, restaurants and other venues will remain off limits, with food outlets allowed just contactless pickup or delivery, and for many it’s not worth opening.

“Accommodation businesses will be able to open but no one will be allowed to travel so that’s not going to make much difference.

“The possibility of the rest of the country moving to Level 1 will be welcomed by all, but it will likely be a slow return, and many businesses will remain vulnerable for some time.

“That’s why we need a targeted payment now. We are the industry hardest hit by policies designed to cut socialisation.

“The Government told us last week they get all that but targeted support is difficult to organise. But it is no more difficult than this industry carrying most of the financial burden of Covid levels.

“The extension of the resurgence payment was welcomed but it’s nowhere near enough. The Government is not offering anything equal to the deep financial crisis the hospitality industry is in.

“Our need is uniquely desperate. Levels 2 to 4 are periods of 30-100% losses for most hospitality and accommodation businesses.

“There has been little bounce-back under Level 2.5, with cancellations going right through to Christmas.

“Most of our members will trade at a loss even with the extension of the wage subsidy and resurgence payment last week.

“This will get a lot worse for our businesses before it gets better – unless we get targeted support.”