Tenants have been left in tears as Tauranga's business community prepares for a four-week lockdown beginning at 11.59 tonight.
Some Kiwis will switch to working from home while others face a compulsory month-long holiday or redundancy following the fallout of Covid-19.
Tauranga business leader Matt Cowley says the Bay's business community is now in survival mode.
"We have seen business owners in tears as they struggle to see how their business would survive at least four weeks without trade."
For some business owners it was their first holiday in 18 years, while a local gym was preparing to be without income for a month and a local brewery was now making hand sanitiser.
Yesterday, the Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank announced a major financial support package for homeowners and businesses affected by Covid-19.
The $6.25 billion Business Finance Guarantee Scheme will provide short-term credit to cushion the financial distress on solvent small and medium-sized firms affected by the crisis.
The package will include a six-month principal and interest payment holiday for impacted mortgage holders and SME customers.
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said Covid-19 will be the circuit breaker for many businesses to diversify into online options.
"We will all have fond memories of what business was like before Covid-19. We will need to get used to a government with high debt levels and banks and insurance companies who need to replenish their capital reserves."
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Speaking to NZME before yesterday's announcement, Greerton Lotto owner Belinda Sands said at the moment her business would be fine as long as it got up and running again as quickly as possible.
"For me this will be my first holiday in 18 years, but never imagined it would be an enforced holiday."
Florist Donna Macpherson, owner and sole operator of Brambles in Mount Maunganui, said financially it was not a good place to be in "but what can you do?"
"I guess I will take an enforced one-month holiday, which is something I don't think I have ever had in my life..."
Tgabox Health and Fitness owner Chris Walker said the gym had frozen all memberships.
"When you have your income overnight just disappear, it is a bit concerning. For a whole month, income is going to be restricted ... We will get through it. But it is going to come at a cost."
Mount Brewing Co Brewery managing director, Glenn Meikle, said the company started making its own hand sanitiser after hearing of the shortage.
Staff had so far made 200 20-litre bottles from their Mount brewery, which they started selling from their neighbouring Super Liquor Mount Maunganui store yesterday.
Meikle said it was a World Health Organisation recipe and the home-made product had been "flying out the door" mainly to mothers and families at $50 a litre.
He said the brewery hoped to make more and deliver online orders to customers.
The company has a licence for ethanol and was using its own stock, Meikle said, but the raw ingredients including hydro peroxide and glycerol had proved "tricky to get".
"We have only a limited supply. But we need to look after our city too."
Hammon Diamond Jeweller owner Julie Hammon said it was worrying times for businesses but hoped it would "bring out the best in people."
Mainstreet organisation Downtown Tauranga's chairman, Brian Berry, said CBD businesses were concerned about how they were going to get through the lockdown and financial impacts had some business owners asking for rental relief.
"We have had tearful tenants. It is a really stressful time for everyone."
Berry said CBD businesses had suffered from a difficult trading time last year, the early closedown of the cruise ship season and now the rise to Alert Level 4.
"It is tough for them," he said. "I would expect some businesses to close and not reopen but there has so far been no indication of that."
Craft Bar and Kitchen owner Billy Emeny said temporarily closing his three-year-old business was one of the hardest things he had ever done.
"I was pretty upset."
He likened the Covid-19 situation to a plane ride.
"Either you're going to land or you're going to crash and there is nothing you can do but hope the pilot lands it."
He was determined to keep paying his 16 staff, who he described as the "best in the Bay of Plenty".
"They work so hard ... There is no way I want to lose any one of them.
"Hopefully we will get the wage subsidy … and hopefully we will be able to open in four weeks."
People could help by buying a voucher online to be used upon reopening.
"Maybe if we sell 1000 vouchers we might get across the line."
Mount Business Association chairman Grant Aislabie said non-essential businesses will need support, and understanding when the crisis had passed.
Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford said the impacts will be massive across the retail sector in what was "probably the biggest economic disruption New Zealand had ever seen".
"We are expecting to see a large number of job losses in retail and a large number of retail businesses cease trading over the coming weeks."
Covid-19 in New Zealand
40 new yesterday
6 in NZ hospitals
1 case in Rotorua
1 case in Tauranga
Source: Ministry of Health