Northland business leaders are calling on residents to support local retailers and food outlets who are struggling to stay afloat under strict restrictions due to Covid-19.
While industries like construction, forestry and manufacturing can get back to work when the country moves out of lockdown to alert level 3 next Tuesday, businesses involving face-to-face contact must stay closed.
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Northland cafes, bars, restaurants and retail stores are now nutting out new ways of operating, which must be contactless until at least May 11 when the Government will decide whether to move down to level 2.
Northland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Steve Smith said it would be challenging for many in the hospitality industry to operate.
Many businesses would want to restart, he said, "but three more weeks is too long".
"There was intended to be, for all industry and commerce, a self-accreditation process so owners can test their ability to trade safely," he said.
"I would be keen on seeing something whereby a bit more thought could go into it and those places could open under certain circumstances.
"Not all businesses are the same. Some hospitality businesses might be able to do this, so why shouldn't they be able to demonstrate that and get on with it."
Smith urged residents to support local businesses that "provide exemplary customer service and those that go the extra mile".
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"I'd encourage people to support businesses that provide best practice, value to the community and a sense of pride in what they do."
Under level 3, shops, cafes and restaurants can open for online or phone purchases, along with contactless delivery or click and collect.
Food deliveries, drive-through services and takeaway coffee are allowed, but they must also be contactless.
Lloyd Rooney - who co-owns The Quay and Number 8 restaurants in Whangārei, The Dune in Mangawhai and The Cove in Waipu Cove – said they have developed an app which is available on their website.
Though they won't be doing deliveries, click and collect will be available for takeaways from The Quay and The Cove under level 3, he said.
They will also be running the Number 8 takeaway menu from The Quay kitchen.
Rooney was unsure how business would be under level 2 but "at the moment we think we should be okay".
"It's a difficult situation. We have to tread a really fine line between livelihoods and lives and it's out of our hands.
"For us we're quite lucky with our Northland restaurants; we've had a really strong summer and are in a good position to see out level 3 and go into level 2.
"But I do feel for those who aren't in this situation who are going into a quiet time in winter on reduced business.
"You can't sugar coat it - it's going to be a tough winter for everybody."
Bruce McGregor, who owns McGregors Bakery in Kerikeri, said he is setting up a website and will be offering deliveries to Kerikeri, Paihia, Kawakawa and Opua under level 3.
Though he's not completely sure yet, he's hoping he can open as a takeaway bakery offering contactless click and collect services.
McGregor said like many businesses, he's had "no income at all" during the lockdown and still has bills to pay.
The income he usually makes supplying bread to restaurants in Paihia has also been lost, he said.
"It's a big loss for March and April that's for sure.
"I hope it's only two weeks. If I can't open the shop after that hopefully I will survive but it'll only be just. The bills are still coming in."
Restaurant Association of New Zealand chief executive Marisa Bidois said coronavirus has had a "potentially devastating" impact on the hospitality industry.
Many cafes and restaurants were also supplemented by tourism which "has gone to zero for the foreseeable future", she said.
Her advice to businesses thinking about moving to level 3 is to "consider it carefully".
"You shouldn't take out any loans to do that. You don't necessarily need to put yourself in further debt to operate in level 3."
The restaurant association is also calling on more Government support for small to medium businesses by way of grants to help with overheads.
Bidois also urged residents to support their local businesses.
"It's definitely tough times for many in the industry.
"Support your local favourite café, restaurant and takeaway – they really need you."
Buy New Zealand Made yesterday launched a #shopkiwi campaign to help manufacturers sell products directly to consumers online.
Businesses that join the campaign will be added to Buy NZ Made's ShopKiwi list so people can easily find and shop at their online store. Around 200 businesses have already signed up including some in Northland.
Executive director Ryan Jennings said it's important Kiwis support New Zealand businesses as they start to reopen.
"New Zealand businesses have been waiting with bated breath to find out when they can reopen, and they need all the help they can get. These businesses can now focus on turning their inventory into cash."
Jennings said a recent survey of more than 1300 Kiwis indicated they are more likely to shop locally once the lockdown is lifted.