The Auckland Chamber of Commerce is calling for Auckland to be moved to alert level 1.5 as 89 per cent of businesses are collecting the Government wage subsidy.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will make an announcement this afternoon about whether Auckland might move out of level 3 and the rest of the country out of level 2.
Michael Barnett, chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, says Auckland businesses were in survival mode and wanted to minimise job losses. But any extension to the current alert level for a further two weeks would send many organisations over the edge.
About 20 per cent of Auckland businesses fear they will not make it through another extended lockdown, Barnett told Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB this morning.
"We're hearing some tough stories ... stories of people losing their businesses as well as from people that have threats to their homes," Barnett said.
Epidemiologist Michael Baker and other groups want the lockdown to be extended for another two weeks in Auckland.
Barnett says this should not be the priority and that Government should be taking the learnings from the first round of lockdown to make a decision that would allow the economy to rebuild.
"We need to take those learnings and be prepared to use them so that we can start looking at our economy and rebuilding that because as we rebuild the economy we're rebuilding people's lives."
Barnett would welcome a move to alert level 2 in Auckland, but he said would prefer 1.5.
"The messaging needs to be clear from the Government that they will manage the border. You need to give business confidence that they are going to be able to survive and be able to minimise those job losses.
"The lockdowns that we see at the moment are unsustainable ... we do need to come up with a better model."
A move to alert level 1.5 could mean that food and beverage businesses could only open if they had a QR code.
"[Businesses] are good at hygiene, they are good at [displaying] QR [codes] - give them a better break than we have done at the moment."