COMMENT:

New Zealand has faced a number of disasters recently.

Looking back to the Rena grounding, Kiwifruit PSA outbreak, Christchurch earthquakes and mosque shooting, and Whakaari/White Island; all of these events relied on other unaffected sectors of the community to support the long-term recovery.

Covid-19 is different as every sector of the economy has been impacted. All sectors of the economy have to lean on each other to recover after five weeks of lockdown as everyone is hurting.

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Our economic recovery will not be like turning on the ignition in your car. It will require the local community to work together and make a conscious effort to nurture local businesses.

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All businesses are starting from the same start line as nobody truly knows what life is going to be like after five weeks of lockdown.

It is great to see so many local hospitality and retailers embrace online sales.

Many have been hesitant as in the past it has either been unnecessary, too expensive, and too complicated.

While the Government's restrictions have made it a necessity for most businesses to have online shopping options, it also comes with major risks.

Part of the reason why some businesses thought it was not necessary to have online offerings is because their customers want to physically visit them. Before Covid-19, less than 10 per cent of New Zealand consumer purchases were online.

Consumers now need to shop online if they want to buy things under level 3. This increases the risks of local consumers buying more things from other regions and overseas.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

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The Tauranga Chamber of Commerce supports everyone in the Bay of Plenty to consciously support local businesses. This includes businesses choosing local suppliers where it is possible.

The big fast-food chains are going to be busy during level 3, so locals should choose a takeaway from your favourite local eatery instead.

We need to keep cash moving through our local economy. We all need to support local employers. We all need to Go Local!