"Miserable, disappointed and sick" are some of the words to describe the feelings from local tourism, events, and hospitality businesses in response to the Budget. Journalist Kelly Makiha reports.
There's no point having a wage subsidy increase if staff don't have businesses to work in.
That's the view of Rotorua's tourism, hospitality, and events business owners who are disappointed in what they say is a Budget that's left them out.
They say they have been crying out for a cash injection to help pay operating costs, such as rent, rates and insurances, but the Budget has so far offered them nothing.
The city's visitor sector will benefit from the $3.2 billion wage subsidy increase and the $400 million tourism boost. There's also $20b being left in the kitty for the Covid-19 response plan and local operators say they will be lobbying the Government for a hand-out from that money.
Pig and Whistle Historic Pub and Capers Epicurean owner Gregg Brown said the "devil was in the detail".
"There doesn't appear to be anything there for the small business owner. The wage subsidy helps somewhat but that goes to the employee."
He said it was smart to keep the $20b back, but the Government needed to be careful how it was spent.
"Anyone can spray the money around but we have to pay it back."
Hospitality Association Bay of Plenty branch president and Hennessy's Irish Bar owner Reg Hennessy said they were uncertain about their futures.
"They are just paying businesses to keep their staff so they don't end up queuing outside the WINZ office. We are just facilitating the money but what happens after those eight weeks?"
Hennessy said there was nothing there for the landlords and the tenants to pay the bills.
"To be that miserable to not give small businesses even just one cent of that money just goes to show where small businesses sit with this Government."
He said the lack of detail and certainty was something they sadly had got used to.
"We've been told all along 'we will tell you next week' but we need it now, we need it today."
Hennessy said without certainty, they would need more money in the mental health budget next year.
Event Impressions director Jacqui Alexander said she "felt sick" when she learned there was nothing specific in the Budget to help keep small businesses afloat.
She said although Event Impressions would consolidate and survive, she said many in the events sector wouldn't.
"What's the point of having a wage subsidy if we don't have a business?"
She said $400m for tourism might not stretch to the events sector.
"I just don't know how they expect businesses to survive."
It had been a "hard pill to swallow" seeing other businesses bounce back with customers and visitors because the events sector had nothing on its books for several weeks, possibly months.
New Zealand needed to send a strong confident message like Australia was doing, she said.
Velocity Valley managing director Simon Short said the Budget offered them nothing to pay their bills.
"Again, we are left in the dark about what there is for us to allow us to continue in business. The wage subsidy is great because it will save those jobs but at the end of eight weeks we don't want to look back and say 'that was a waste of taxpayers' money'."
Short said small businesses needed cash injections to get through winter.
"The domestic market for many is not going to be enough. There's $400m and many are interested in what that will mean but it is so grey, there is just a lack of clarity."
Rotorua Economic Development chief executive Michelle Templer said they had been very clear about what they were hoping to see in today's Budget.
"Rotorua businesses have been asking the Government to provide a targeted wage subsidy scheme beyond the initial 12 week period so that businesses can forecast cashflow, plan and continue to pay and retain staff, while they rebuild their businesses.
"The announcement that the wage subsidy scheme will continue for the next eight weeks is welcome news, but it may not be enough for some businesses. The tourism and hospitality industries in particular need to be able to count on assistance until the beginning of summer."
She said the $400 million Tourism Recovery Fund was also good news and would provide more support to the hard hit tourism sector.
Templer hoped some of the $1 billion environmental job fund could be used to fund some of the initiatives being planned by the Rotorua Inc Whakahouhia te Whare Ohanga Build Back Better Steering Group. She said it represented four sectors essential to Rotorua's recovery - sustainable visitor economy, forestry and wood processing, city development and emerging industries.
"We were hoping to see a higher allocation to support regional shovel ready projects as these projects will be an important source of local jobs to stimulate our city's recovery."
* $3.2bn wage subsidy extension for 8 weeks for businesses that can prove a 50 per cent turnover reduction.
* $400m targeted fund for tourism.
* $50bn for the Covid-19 response plan. About $16bn as a jobs package, including a further wage subsidies package and infrastructure boost.