Auckland central city businesses are reeling from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak; some reporting business dropping by 90 per cent.
Restaurants and hospitality businesses are losing about $6 million per week, and the figure is expected to rise, according to the Restaurant Association.
The Weekend Herald visited several Queen St businesses where operators say they are struggling to make enough to pay their rent and on some days, not even enough to pay their power bills.
At the Atrium Food Court, which is normally crowded on a Thursday at lunchtime, more than half the tables were empty.
"Our business is down by half, but we are still one of the lucky ones because there are some who are down 60 to 80 per cent," said Freddy Iskandar, who owns Waroeng Bali, an Indonesian food stall.
"We used to make more than $1400 a day, easy. Now we consider it a good day if we can get $700, and that's not enough to cover our rent and overheads."
Iskandar says he does not know how long his business can keep going if the situation doesn't improve.
Jessie Jiang, owner of beauty salon Amore in The Strand Arcade, said business was down 80 per cent from before the outbreak started.
"Most of our customers are local Chinese, many of whom are not coming out, while others are stuck in China," Jiang said.
"Our other big group of customers are tourists and international students, and these also have become non-existent."
A few doors away, Vicky Wei, of Wonderland Fashion, said her boutique had hardly sold any garments this week.
"Let's not talk about whether I'm earning enough to pay my rent, I don't think my sales can even cover the power bill," she said.
Trade has dropped by about 60 per cent from a month ago, and Wei wonders how much longer she will be able to sustain her business.
Money changers are also hard hit, as some report a 90 per cent drop in currencies such as the Chinese yuan and Korean won.
"People have stopped travelling and the customers have just stopped coming," said Esther Ye, of DP Money Exchange.
"Demand for the yuan and won is completely gone."
Travel restrictions and flight cancellations to China and South Korea have prompted many would-be holidaymakers to cancel or postpone their trips.
At MidCity Arcade, some businesses like Dream Nail Salon and Size Gift Shops are opening later in the business day and operating shorter hours.
"It is a fact that passenger traffic has decreased due to the coronavirus," salon owner Pinko said.
A security guard at the arcade said Ryo Japanese Izakaya Restaurant had been closed for the past week.
Along Customs St, luxury retailer DFS Galleria this week asked staff to take voluntary redundancy, cut their hours or take unpaid leave after sales dropped off with the coronavirus outbreak, RNZ reported.
The store sells luxury brands like Burberry, Versace, Prada and Tom Ford and relies heavily on the tourist market.
And one of Auckland's oldest Thai restaurants will close at the end of next month after being severely affected by the outbreak and construction of the City Rail Link.
Mai Thai, on Albert St, which opened for business in 1989, has been steadily losing customers since the CRL works began - but owner Bow Manoonpong says the sharp drop in tourist numbers was "the straw that broke this camel's back".
"This is a difficult time for business in the city centre," Heart of the City chief executive Viv Beck said.
"Our priorities right now are twofold. We will keep promoting the many reasons to visit the city centre so it's top of mind for Aucklanders to support businesses here.
"We will also be encouraging relevant businesses to participate in a recently announced ATEED regional marketing campaign to stimulate domestic and local travel over the next three months."
Beck said the organisation was also liaising with government agencies to ensure the sectors most affected could receive appropriate support.
Restaurant Association chief executive Marisa Bidois wants the Government to step up tax cuts and financial assistance to help member businesses.
"We are fielding a number of calls from business owners in desperate situations, asking for advice as they face temporary closure. Many of these calls are coming from our ethnic restaurants," Bidois said.
The Government announced this week it was extending travel restrictions for Iran and China, and compulsory self-isolation for people arriving from northern Italy and South Korea.
"It's not only restrictions on travel that are impacting on businesses but also through local diners staying home for fear of contracting the virus. And every day that passes, the impact from Covid-19 increases," Bidois said.
"We estimate approximately $6 million per week is being lost by hospitality businesses, a figure we expect to rise if travel restrictions extend to other regions."
She said central city centre businesses faced added challenges because of the infrastructure upgrades and environmental issues.
"The industry is facing a level of unprecedented challenges."