Here's a short interview I did recently with the local newspaper here in Rotorua, the Daily Post, about the recent lockdown and how local businesses will cope with what has happened.
Owner of Zen Arcade Massage Grant Nicol said the wage subsidy extension was "good news". "For me, I wouldn't still be in operation if it wasn't for the original scheme. I found it was a total lifesaver. "I am probably going to need the extension and I am probably not the only one." Nicol said the wage subsidy extension would allow him to be able to pay his rent while he had hot been at work and his Lynmore business had been closed for about two months. "I closed down about a week before because I just noticed an enormous rush of cancellations as people became more and more nervous ... Two days later we were in lockdown. "My income has dropped to zero. Without the wage subsidy I would have sunk by now I think. It has given me an opportunity to try to rebuild my clientele again." Nicol said as businesses get back to work in level 2 it was now "super important" to support local companies. "We need to reorientate the way we think and start to support Kiwi-owned businesses. It is going to be a matter of life or death for a lot of them. It is time to support our local businesses."