The Waikato Business Support service and our dedicated Regional Business Partner Team have supported in excess of 800 Waikato businesses during Alert Level 3. Following discussions with Waikato businesses over the period from 28 April to 13 May, the following snapshot of the regional business response to Alert Level 3 has been created.
These insights are indicative only; respondents total 245 Waikato businesses with direct calls to businesses being facilitated by the Waikato Business Support service, district council teams or district development boards. The results are aggregated at a Waikato regional level with any significant variation by district presented.
1. Businesses appeared to have adapted well to Alert Level 3 requirements around business operations as they opened their doors (predominantly digitally) following hibernation during Alert Level 4. Business sentiment has appeared relatively positive.
2. The Waikato Business Support service noticed an increase in business engagement during Alert Level 3 compared to Alert Level 4. The proactive connect to businesses enabled opportunities to better support businesses and guide them to relevant support agencies or local professional service
3. The wage subsidy, rent relief and bank assistance are avenues businesses have explored to relieve cashflow pressure and/or expenditure incurred without the corresponding ‘normal’ levels of income.
4. Businesses have also accessed and plan to continue to access professional support services, particularly accountancy support around cashflow forecasting and are increasingly interested in digital enablement and online sales support.
5. While more business activity has been possible under Alert Level 3 than Alert Level 4, the true impact of the Alert levels restrictions remain unknown for many businesses. Further, the path to recovery remains uncharted and the need for a strong business support network is essential.