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Livelihoods are on the line as Rotorua businesspeople hope to return to some form of normality as soon as possible after four weeks in lockdown.
That's the view of Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick who says normality was what everyone was working towards.
"This is not an easy time for anyone and there are still too many unknowns to accurately predict what our communities or economy will look like when we come out the other end.
"As a council we are doing everything we can to facilitate and support a rapid and effective recovery."
Chadwick said it was good to see a variety of assistance packages made available to help soften the impact for as many as possible.
Her comments come on the back of recently announced Government support measures for small and medium-sized businesses, including a $3.1 billion tax relief package.
The package, which would "allow a large number of businesses to access their previous tax payments as cash refunds", prompted Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell to call for the immediate staged reopening of small businesses to save thousands of jobs and livelihoods amid the lockdown.
Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Bryce Heard said the tax relief was a good idea to help improve cash flow which was "going to be king" for businesses during these stressful times.
In response to Powell's call to move out of lockdown next week, Heard said it was "a tug-of-war" as to what was best for businesses and public health.
"We do have to get the health issues under control then let off restrictions quickly but as safe as we can. But that is not a call I am qualified to make."
Destination Rotorua chief executive Michelle Templer said yesterday's announcement was another positive initiative to help businesses manage the impact of Covid-19.
"This latest package should help to address cash flow for small to medium-sized businesses and could also help improve their access to capital.
"However, it's important that businesses engage early with financial advisors and the IRD in order to access the full range of support available."
Templer said the $25m extra funding for business continuity support will also go straight into helping businesses via the Regional Business Partners network.
"The businesses we're speaking to are also looking forward to hearing more detail about the Government's plan to transition down to lower alert levels and the continued impact that process will have on their businesses and the rollout of the city's recovery plan.
"The plan is focusing on areas where the impact on jobs is likely to be the greatest, such as tourism, hospitality and retail; while making the most of opportunities in sectors, such as forestry, that should recover more quickly following pent-up demand and an ability to operate effectively with social distancing in place."
Minister for Small Business Stuart Nash said Cabinet would decide the country's alert level next Monday using the most up-to-date health data and specialist advice.
"Our aim is to eliminate Covid-19 and then begin to open up our country and economy in a way that mitigates the risks of further outbreaks."
Nash said the best economic support for businesses was to protect the health of their workers, customers, support services and families.
He said the most important steps small businesses could take to prepare for coming out of alert level 4 was to structure their business so that it could operate in alert level 3 or 2.