We have known the crash was coming, but knowing that is not going to make it any easier to bear.
With the Covid wage subsidy coming to an end; with business owners ploughing through savings; with little prospect of life returning to some kind of normal any time soon, it's crunch time for the humans behind the statistics.
An Auckland Business Confidence report in April found that 30 per cent of businesses didn't expect to survive the global pandemic — or rather the response to the pandemic.
Around 40,000 people lost their jobs in a month during the first lockdown and economists have predicted a second wave of unemployment as businesses struggle to stay afloat in these turbulent times.
Big numbers — and all of them represent real people.
Like Tracey who rang me this week. She and her husband own a staging hire company, supplying marquees and stages to festivals and events Kiwis attend — or rather, used to attend. Summer's their busy time, but with gatherings restricted and big-name artists denied entry to the country, there's no prospect of work for the foreseeable future.
Tracey and her husband put up their house as collateral for the loan to buy their company and now she says they are facing the reality of losing their business and home. They have spent long, sleepless nights trying to work out how the hell they can "pivot" into doing something else with the assets they have but they fear it's hopeless. You could hear the desperation in her voice.
And then there was Stu. One of the good buggers. When he talked about the seven employees who'd been with him since he started his business, his voice cracked and he had to stop to collect himself.
They all had kids, he said. He was going to stick with them for as long as he could because they were, he said, bloody beautiful people.
But Stu said unless the shovel-ready projects actually got started and infrastructure jobs got back to some semblance of normal, he didn't know how he was going to survive and that would be seven good people looking for jobs.
It's hard hearing the brutal reality of what life is like for those Kiwis who make a living through their own efforts and labours. They aren't paid by the taxpayer. They're not in government jobs, cushioned from the shock of the lockdowns. They are men and women who know that if they want to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table, they have to wake up, get out of bed and go and make that happen themselves.
They don't want much, these small and medium business owners. They don't need to make millions. They're independent souls who have only wanted the opportunity to forge their own fortunes. That's why they set up their own businesses and became their own bosses.
And now, because the world has turned upside down and lockdowns have become a fact of life, these proud people can no longer be masters of their own destinies. They are utterly reliant on the government — the decisions the government make around public health and lockdowns; the decisions on different levels in different parts of the country; the decisions on what projects get big ticks and when.
They never ever wanted government welfare or assistance — for some of them, receiving the Covid wage subsidy was the first time they'd received government money. And they hated that. And if, through no fault or failing of their own, they lose their businesses, there'll be some that will be forced to become beneficiaries.
And I know that for a number of those men and women, that will be a fate worse than death.
• Kerre McIvor Mornings, Newstalk ZB, weekdays 9am-noon