Auckland Chamber of Commerce head Michael Barnett says small businesses are suffering devastation as the city remains in alert level 4.
While the move down to a modified level 2 outside of Auckland has been welcomed, Barnett says it is critical that the Government consider the proposal to extend the resurgent subsidy to the city's businesses.
''We always expected Auckland to remain at level 4 and Auckland should be delighted for the rest of New Zealand,'' he said.
But it was now time for the resurgence payment to cover the previous three weeks, and any future period Auckland remained in levels 4 and 3.
''The damage to so many small and medium businesses is devastating for them, as is the toll on their leadership," he said. "Business employees have been well recognised by the Government, and now they need to extend that support to business and become champions for their survival.''
Barnett was also concerned at the potential frustrations testing at the borders containing Auckland would create and has asked if enough time to test those supporting the supply chain has been given.
Those essential workers crossing the border will need to be tested once a week.
The Restaurant Association and Retail NZ welcome the alert level change as the rest of New Zealand breaks away from Auckland to alert level 2 from Tuesday midnight.
Auckland is on level 4 and the rules remain unchanged, at least until Monday next week.
Restaurant Association chief executive Marisa Bidois said it was good news that most of the country was moving down an alert level but trading would still be harder due to level 2 restrictions.
There were still restrictions around the number of people a business can have but it was still better trading than on a harder lockdown, she said.
Diners would have to follow the three "S" rules, seated, separated and served.
For Auckland still in level 4, she said she wanted the Government to provide more financial assistance.
"We like to see targeted assistance across fix costs like rent and lease, and payment going directly to the employers," Bidois said.
Many businesses in Auckland still haven't paid the loans they took out during 2020 lockdown so some support for the business to pay off the fixed costs from the Government would be helpful.
"In Auckland we are 100 per cent down in revenue, there is a lot of people who are really feeling it and the mood is not the best, but we are looking forward to moving down an alert level for sure."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today said there are two different limits for the number of people in the hospitality industry.
For outdoor venues, 100 people were allowed but had to be seated, but for indoor venues only 50 seated people were allowed.
Compared to previous times in level 2, a 2m space is now required between people at indoor public facilities, such as gyms, libraries and supermarkets.
The 2m rule would mean fewer people would be allowed into those venues to allow for the extra spacing.
Ardern said the changes for large nightclubs would be hard on those businesses but the risk needed to be addressed.
She said the mask could be removed when eating or drinking.
Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford, said moving down to level 2 was good in that businesses will be able to open their doors to the public again, but it's still going to be a challenging time for businesses.
"We expect many customers will continue to stay home, but if people are getting out and about, they need to wear a mask in general retail, and are required to scan in or provide contact tracing information in hospitality and personal care services such as hairdressers, beauticians and gyms."
He said the customers will have to be patient and comply with all the level 2 rules.
"Everyone in the retail sector is trying hard to meet customer needs under difficult circumstances," he said.