Local businesses are less concerned about the current lockdown compared to last year's, according to the results of a Trust Tairāwhiti business survey.

The online survey was launched on August 20 to capture the impacts the lockdown was having on local business owners and operators. The survey closed last night as the region moved into Delta Alert Level 2.

The short survey asked questions around the areas of business affected by lockdown, types of support that would be useful, uptake of Government financial support and employee wellbeing.

Of the 63 survey respondents, the majority were from the tourism, retail and service sectors.

The results show businesses are feeling more comfortable during the current lockdown, with the overall concern sentiment sitting at 3.6 (on a scale of 5 being very concerned, 1 being not concerned) compared with around 4.2 in the 2020 lockdown.

The greatest impact areas on businesses for this lockdown are revenue and income, short-term cashflow and the ability for staff to perform their roles. Supply chain, perishable inventory and exporting are the lowest concern points.

The average wellbeing sentiment is 3.3 out of 5.

The most requested area of support for businesses in the survey was digital enablement, followed by marketing and business sustainability. In last year's lockdown business planning, systems and operations were the most requested and these priorities have reduced, showing greater business resilience in these areas.

Survey results show businesses would prefer support via online resources, followed by mentoring and meeting with a professional service provider. Last lockdown professional service providers were the preferred method. Workshops and calling an advice line were the least requested form of support this year."

About 71 percent of businesses have accessed the Government's wage subsidy and or the resurgence payment.

Richard Searle, general manager of economic development, says the Trust's business growth team would refine aspects of their workplan to support business recovery.

"We"ll be looking at further promotion of the Digital Boost programme in response to the survey results which showed this is where our businesses want more assistance.

"We"re also developing other initiatives centred around the topics highlighted in the survey to support the return to business as usual."

A full report on the survey results, along with comparison graphs from the 2020 survey can be viewed here.

PublishDate: 9 September 2021