A wage subsidy extension and possibly something out of a $400 million tourism spend increase is all there is to immediately offer Tauranga's event, hospitality and tourism sectors from the Budget. Journalist Kelly Makiha finds out if it's enough.
A wage-subsidy extension has come as welcome relief for Tauranga's hospitality, tourism and events sectors but there's criticism the Budget has nothing to ensure long-term survival.
Barrio Brothers and Rye Bar & Grill owner Josh Fitzgerald said the eight-week wage subsidy extension was huge relief for his businesses that employed 50 people.
Although there was criticism the Budget didn't directly offer small businesses any cash injections to help with operating costs, Fitzgerald said wages were 30 per cent of his costs and it was a massive help.
"I don't think giving huge sums of money direct to businesses is the right tool. The wage subsidy is a big deal for us and we can access business loans interest free."
Bay of Plenty Event Hire owner James Mollison said he was "delighted" with the wage-subsidy extension and he was confident his businesses could get through as long as gatherings of 300 or more people were allowed again by August.
"There is nothing else that I can see in the Budget that directly impacts us but we are in a fortunate position that we have a strong balance sheet and we are in a position to hold off."
However, Waimarino Adventure Park owner Blair Anderson was more critical, saying the Budget was good news for those who thought getting money for not having to do anything was positive.
"All they are doing is giving more money to distribute out. They're just encouraging me to be a distributor to beneficiaries."
Anderson said there might be more in the detail that would benefit his business but he "got disheartened" and switched off the television.
"I stopped listening because it just seemed like more giving billions away to people without a plan."
As well as ensuring businesses survived winter, Anderson said he would have liked more money in helping vaccines for Covid-19 and ensuring tighter testing around borders to ensure this problem didn't happen again.
Hospitality Association Bay of Plenty branch president and Hennessy's Irish Bar owner Reg Hennessy said they still were uncertain about their futures.
"They are just paying businesses to keep their staff so they don't end up queuing outside the Winz office. We are just facilitating the money but what happens after those eight weeks?"
Hennessy said there was still nothing there for the landlords and the tenants to pay the bills.
"To be that miserable to not give small businesses even just one cent of that money just goes to show where small businesses sit with this Government."
He said the lack of detail and certainty was something he believed sadly they had got used to.
"We've been told all along 'we will tell you next week' but we need it now, we need it today."
Hennessy said without certainty, they would need more money in the mental health budget next year.
* $3.2 billion wage subsidy extension for 8 weeks for businesses that can prove a 50 per cent turnover reduction
* $400 million targeted fund for tourism
* $50 billion for the Covid-19 response plan. About $16 billion as a jobs package, including a further wage subsidies package and infrastructure boost.