Hawke's Bay businesses say the Government must extend the wage subsidy scheme in its Thursday budget or risk more regional casualties.
Napier Port chief executive Todd Dawson said he was a big fan of the wage subsidy scheme and the work it had done in supporting them and other businesses but that it needed to continue in the budget.
"Any action to further support relief to business working cash flows will be well received, but such government assistance should be prudently delivered," he said.
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"In addition, government initiatives that ease barriers and encourage both public and private investment in significant infrastructure that supports regional development are important, particularly as New Zealand will rely heavily on a viable and profitable primary export sector."
But Dawson said that other focuses in the budget for Hawke's Bay needs to focus on the potential longer-term effects of the drought on our farming sector, which is likely to drift and hit in parallel to the impacts seen from Covid-19.
Stewart Financial Group chief executive Nick Stewart said that he expects to see an extension of the successful wage subsidy to allow vulnerable but viable business carry their employees through the Covid-19 disruption.
"There is also potential that the budget may see 'helicopter money', being an immediate one off cash payment to residents which will flow through the economy far quicker than GST rebates or other schemes."
He said that Budget 2020 won't give 2020 vision many desire, but it will give some certainty around the Government's fiscal plans giving businesses confidence to hold the line and get through this crisis.
"As we saw with the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, Governments can assist greatly with the psychological impact of an economic crisis, in limiting the downside and setting the scene for a strong private sector rebound."
Masonic co-owner Neil Barber said that it would be nice if there were initiatives in the budget to help drive tourism revenue.
In addition he said initiatives to defray operating costs, suspension of ACC levies, a continuation of the wage subsidy beyond 12 weeks, tax and rating relief would all be welcome.
Peak House Owner Haydn Middleton said obviously it has been a tough time for businesses like his as they have had to shut down completely in level 4 and offering delivery-only in level 3.
"The wage subsidy has been a great help and if the budget was able to extend that for tourism and hospitality businesses in particular, then that would give us a bit longer to get back on our feet," he said.
"However, more than any help from the budget we are hoping locals will support us again by coming to the Peak House immediately from level 2.
"That is the big boost we are looking for."