Not as many businesses are able to do business as the Government thinks under alert level 3, a survey has revealed.

Just 20 per cent of Auckland businesses are able to operate at 100 per cent capacity under the restrictions, research by the Auckland Business Chamber has revealed.

And 42 per cent were operating at 50 per cent or less of their capacity, including 10 per cent who were not operating at all.

Michael Barnett, chief executive of the Auckland Business Chamber, said the number of business that are operating at 100 per cent has halved since last week.

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"This is not sustainable and an approach that is not an immediate default to a level three lockdown each time we have a resurgence at any level needs to be found."

Last Friday when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Auckland would stay under alert level 3 until midnight on August 26, she said level 3 allowed the country to continue with more activity than a full level 4 lockdown.

"Estimates are that the economy operates at roughly about 80 per cent at level 3 – compared to 60 per cent at level 4."

"I'm mindful of the extraordinary disruption to business and the anxiety that this outbreak will be causing. As before, we will use what tools we have to protect jobs, incomes, and businesses – as well as people's health."

Since then the Government has extended the wage subsidy, leave scheme and the mortgage deferral scheme.

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The Auckland Business Chamber research found 54 per cent would apply for the wage subsidy but most wanted direct support to business as well as employees.

Barnett said businesses accept that the Government subsidy is to support employees and save jobs.

"But businesses also need to survive if they are to be future employers."

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