Business is keen to see the Labour Government work collaboratively with it on a plan to phase in increasing costs such as the minimum wage and gradually open the borders.
Labour's landslide win in Saturday's election means it will power on with its plans to increase the minimum wage in April and double the amount of paid sick leave on offer.
It has also said it will commit to reducing the fees small businesses pay their banks for accepting debit and credit cards through regulation of merchant service fees.
Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett said Labour had proven that it was caring to the community and focused on people, but needed to ensure small businesses received the support that it had talked about, such as the continuation of the Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme through IRD and extended the interest-free period.
Barnett said it was vital the Government stimulate the economy either through infrastructure projects or a gradual re-opening of the borders to foreign workers and international visitors.
"The reality is there is going to be a lift in minimum wage and there is going to be a lift in sick leave, but I think any of those lifts can equally be counted by the fact that the sectors that are going to receive an increased income are going to be spenders, and that in turn is going to help stimulate the economy," he said.
"It's going to be an interesting pathway going forward. The focus on the rebuilding of the economy and support for small business will be key."
Business had generally worked well with Labour over the past term, Barnett said, and it "deserved a second chance" to begin investment in infrastructure and guide the economy through the Covid-19 recovery.
Labour governing alone, as opposed to with the Greens, would likely mean less compromise and better outcomes for business, he said.
Business was hoping Labour would "remove barriers" and implement measures that would make it easier to employ staff, Barnett said.
Krishna Botica, co-founder of Cafe Hanoi, Xuxu Dumpling Bar and Saan, under the Comensa group, said hospitality was looking for a specific recovery plan from the new government and "to be recognised as in the frontline".
It would also like to receive specialised support and to be part of the decision-making dialogue. As part of this, Botica said she would like to see the ministerial tourism and hospitality portfolio split so that more focus can be placed on the two sectors.
"We feel given the environment with Covid-19 and how complicated our industry is and how different it is from tourism that the portfolio should be separated out."
Botica, like most small-to-medium-sized businesses, was concerned about rising costs under a Labour Government, but acknowledged stability, particularly in the current environment, was important. Her biggest concern was multiple future lockdowns.
Asked if she thought the Government was qualified to steer the country back through to a strong economy, she said she was unsure if any party could.
She said she believed Labour's win on Saturday was driven by Ardern's rockstar status as opposed to strong policies, skill and knowledge of the party.
"There wasn't any policy that really we could get our heads around; there wasn't anything on offer from either of the major parties. It was a bit of a stab in the dark for a lot people."
For the retail sector, Greg Harford, chief executive of Retail NZ, said it was important the government remained focused on keeping the economy moving, consumer confidence high and people spending.
"Labour went into the election with a number of promises which will put significant cost onto small retail businesses. We certainly think it is time to look very closely at whether another big increase to the minimum wage is affordable and appropriate right now."
Harford said he believed the increase in the minimum wage to $20 in April from $18.90 needed to be staggered, or different minimum wage rates introduced for different sectors or businesses.
"If you push on into a world where the minimum wage is going up by another $1.10 then that is going to be unaffordable, particularly for small businesses that are struggling to make ends meet at the moment.
"The other thing that retailers would be keen to see progress on is the regulation of merchant fees."
SkyCity Entertainment Group chair Rob Campbell said the Government had big climate and social challenges, as well as the economic recovery, to prioritise.
"Business often says that we like stability and certainty from government. I agree and I'm pleased that a decisive result provides that. We have big climate, environment and social challenges. Meeting those challenges must be integrated with economic recovery not seen as a choice.
"I've seen business cheerleader policies directed to the incoming government. They are sectarian special pleading. A strong government will reject them.
"The direction is clear and business should get on board with the direction, not try to change it."
Kirk Hope of Business NZ said: "Labour has the opportunity to mandate and the money to create and start to execute a programme of transformative world-class infrastructure that can serve New Zealand for at least the next 50 years.
"This will make communities more accessible and sustainable, underpin jobs and training in areas we have deficits [such as STEM areas], unlock private sector investment and help improve our productivity."
Stephen Jacobi said New Zealand needed a strong government at this critical time.
"PM Ardern has a clear mandate to address the Covid situation and build the economic recovery. Delivery will be critical. She will need the help of the private sector. Trade has a key role to play. Apec in 2021 is a great opportunity for NZ to show leadership."
First Retail Group managing director Chris Wilkinson said the election result and strong support for a Labour Government would give consumers confidence and encourage spending - a win for the retail sector, at least over the next few months.
"The fact that it has been such a decisive win, that will maintain consumer confidence. For retail it has been a pretty uncertain time of where things were going to head and the last thing we needed was any destabilisation of consumer confidence."
The biggest challenge for the Labour Government over the next few months would be understanding the commercial challenges businesses face, and Wilkinson said there would need to be greater collaboration between government and industry.
He said the Government needed to establish a commercial board, separate to the Covid-19 business response group, to help it garner a better understanding of commercial issues.
Any further regulation by the Government could hamper businesses' ability or desire to hire new staff or expand, Wilkinson said, adding that he believed the Government should delay its plan to increase the minimum wage again until 2022.
"Reducing margins and increased costs are the key worries for business at the moment, and with wage costs being the major one for many businesses that is something that [the Government] needs to be incredibly mindful of."
Sue de Bievre, chief executive of small business accounting platform Beany, said the Labour Government had worked well with business, and put it second to health, over the past six months.
De Bievre said she believed the Government had shown small business how important it was to the economy.
"I think the business community understand where the government's head is at in regards to small business. I think Covid-19 showed us that when our backs were against the wall, where they have been over the past six months, the Government was actually there to be supportive."
Labour's "move to pull money out of tertiary education and into free apprenticeships" was also a good move as it was signalling it wanted to create a workforce that could work on the infrastructure projects that had been planned, she said.
There was no doubt minimum wage increases would "cause anxiety" for some firms, but De Bievre said the Government was making efforts to address the fact that New Zealand was a low-wage economy.
"The reality is business owners are just going to have to put their prices up."
Additional reporting by Chris Keall