One Tauranga butchery lost $60,000 in four days, another's revenue is down 70 per cent and a third has lost thousands of dollars during the lockdown.
Now they are lending their weight to calls to be allowed to open at alert level 4.
One of the butchers says he is determined to survive to ensure his 20 staff aren't put out of work.
The butchers say they're not coming close to making enough to pay for their overheads despite being able to process online orders.
They say they should be able to open like supermarkets and they can operate just as safely, with fewer people in-store at a given time.
A Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment spokeswoman said butcher's shops couldn't open to customers at level 4, to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
Greengrocers, butcheries, bakeries and fishmongers cannot open to customers but can sell uncooked food products and bakery products via contactless ordering payment and delivery.
Jason Pears has owned Kiwi Fresh Meats just more than four months and says he lost $60,000 in revenue in four days.
"The number of orders we're getting online ... doesn't even pay the staff that are there for the day."
As a result, and also to maintain social distancing, the 20 staff he employed have had their hours reduced.
"Realistically, all I'm trying to do is make back the money for the meat that I bought prior to lockdown.
"There's no money for rent, lights and water. The wage subsidy is helping us out, but there's no money for anything else.
"In four days ... I would've lost $60,000 in revenue which I have the meat for, which needs to be paid for at the end of this week just to pay the overheads."
Between $6000 and $10,000 of stock was binned as not all products could be frozen or vacuum-packed.
Pears bought the store after working there for two and a half years, when it was called the Aussie Butcher. He has 26 years of experience as a butcher.
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The butchery has had to make "huge changes", including dropping the daily sausage production to two days a week, followed by immediately freezing the fresh products.
This was to ensure they could provide quality meat for online orders.
Pears said his store was large and could "easily" have five people inside at a time with more than 2m between customers.
"Surely it would be better to have people go to their local greengrocer, bakery and butcher to take the pressure off supermarkets, so people aren't crowding there.
"It would really ensure my shop stays open."
He said the store did well after the initial lockdown as people appreciated the variety of a butcher but surviving the lockdown period was the struggle.
"I've got 20 staff that rely on me to survive the lockdown. Twenty people without jobs would be horrendous. I'm going to make sure I survive this, even if I have to scrape by for the next six months to recover."
Snag Co. owner Bruno Oller said the lockdown had been a "huge" hit for his business and revenue had dropped 70 per cent.
A large portion of his customers were restaurants, which were not allowed to open, and he could no longer sell at farmers' markets.
"It's really tough. We need the customers ... I don't have any employees, it's just me and I still have my bills."
Oller said he was lucky he did not have to throw anything away in the snap lockdown as he did discounts and specials on what goods he had, and stopped production.
"If a supermarket can be open, I don't see why the butcher can't.
"I'm a wee little shop, I don't have room in the shop to have more than two customers at a time ... At supermarkets, you have way more people and way more chance of getting Covid."
Oller said he had to reduce the types of sausages he made from 13 flavours to the five most popular to avoid wasting anything.
"At least I have the support from the regulars buying online, which is saving my life at the moment."
Oller has been doing contactless deliveries for orders placed on social media, dropping off meat once a payment is made through a bank transfer.
Col Drever from Col's Butchery & Deli in Mount Maunganui said the business lost about $20,000 in a week as a result of the lockdown.
Some of their stock needed to be thrown out, some had been put into the freezers, and the rest of it was being put through for contactless deliveries.
"[Butchers] should be open ... supermarkets can't keep up with the demand for meat," he said.
He said butchers were able to control crowds effectively more with sign-ins and a one in, one out system.
A Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment spokeswoman said uncooked food products could be sold through contactless ordering payment and delivery to keep "only the most essential businesses open".
"Not having restrictions on businesses operating during alert level 4 unnecessarily increases the odds of transmission with workers moving in and out of their home bubbles, connecting bubbles and therefore increasing the potential chain of infection."
Earlier in the week, National's Economic Development and Small Business spokesman Todd McClay called for clarity around which businesses were able to open safely during the level 4 lockdown and the procedures for companies to receive authorisation to trade.
McClay said many businesses were facing a loss in perishable goods and revenue.
"Reports of butcher shops losing meat, fruit and vege shops not being able to sell produce and florists losing tens of thousands of dollars' worth of flowers are heartbreaking. This is their livelihood and watching their product rot is incredibly difficult.
"The Government should be doing everything possible to help them and their businesses get through lockdown, including explaining why it's safe for a dairy to open with masks and social distancing but butcher shops, bakeries and greengrocers cannot."