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Good Afternoon Mackenzie Businesses,

The question on nearly every businesses mind is when we will move to Alert Level 3, and what does Level 3 look like. We won’t know the answer to “when” until the 20th April, however we can start our preparation for moving to Level 3. The P.M. describes this as “the waiting room”, waiting to see if the work we all have done to date has worked.

Alert Level 3 has been described as moving from Essential Economic Operations to Safe Economic Operations.  Some businesses will be able to reopen but this will not be “business as usual”.

Now is the time to plan, to get your procedures and operations in place.

Level 3 criteria will likely include: 
  • Staying home, if working from home is possible.
  • If at work, 2-metre social distancing and hygiene requirements will still apply.
  • Bars, restaurants and retail stores will have to stay closed for over-the-counter business but will be allowed to operate food delivery, click & collect, online or drive through sales.  ‘No contact’ rules will apply
  • Tradespersons, house movers etc required to enter homes will be able to do so but must observe safe distance and ‘no contact’ rules.
  • Travel will be permitted for necessary reasons (commuting to work, taking children to school etc), within your region. 
  • Recreation will be permitted as long as you are separate from anyone outside your bubble.  Swimming, shore-based fishing and surfing will be OK in Level 3, but not motorised sports (boating etc), and no large gatherings. 
  • Schools will be partly reopened (for students up to year 10).  Attendance will be voluntary, as parents will be encouraged to keep children home if possible.
  • Funerals & weddings will be limited to fewer than 10 people, with no reception, foods or drinks allowed
Further guidance on level 3 will be provided over the next few days by WorkSafe NZ, followed by more specific advice to businesses.

Further information can be found here.

We will as always continue to provide up to date information and links to the most relevant sites for you.

We are also running a suite of webinars, FREE to attend for all businesses.  These are listed at the end of this newsletter for you.

As the Official Covid-19 Business Response team we are working with and supporting many South Canterbury businesses. We are the pathway to access Regional Business Partner Covid-19 funding for businesses in the areas of:
  •  HR
  • Health and Wellness
  • Business Continuity Planning
  • Finance and Cashflow Management
If you are a professional services business able to provide expertise and guidance in the areas above please register as a service provider here.

If you are a business needing assistance in these areas contact the South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce.

Investments and Kiwi Saver 

Stephen MacFarlane from NZ Funds Private Wealth has written an excellent article on “Understanding your investments outcomes in times of stress” The key message to take away is that Covid-19 is having a significant impact on businesses and the economy and therefore the value of our investments.

In general, fluctuations in value are normal and are to be expected. KiwiSaver and other managed funds are not like a bank account. They are an investment account where you buy units in a fund that makes investments, such as shares, bonds and property. Your provider invests your money (depending on your chosen fund type) and the value at any given time depends on the worth of the investments.

At present, investments are worth less due to the fears around Covid-19 and concerns about its economic impact around the world. That the investments will recover but that timing is uncertain. For some investors with a longer term focus they remain relatively relaxed, while others find the volatility stressful.

If you are concerned about this contact your provider or email Stephen MacFarlane.

Historical Stats NZ Data holds no surprises

Spending on eating out and accommodation plunged more than $300 million or almost one-third in March in the wake of measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, Stats NZ said today.
Groceries had record-high sales in March, but retail card spending fell across the board during the month from clothes to fuel.

Total retail sales fell $231 million (3.9 percent) in March 2020, after adjusting for seasonal effects, the biggest fall on record in both percentage and dollar terms.
“Efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the last couple of months led to the closure of all non-essential businesses and people were told to stay at home from midnight March 25,” retail statistics manager Sue Chapman said.

“This hit hospitality hard. Restaurants, cafes, and bars, as well as hotels, motels, and other accommodation, saw sales drop sharply.”
Spending on hospitality fell the most of any retail industries in dollar terms, with $338 million (30 percent) less spent on eating out and staying in hotels and motels.

“Hospitality was also affected by fewer international visitors due to travel restrictions since February,” Ms Chapman said.
“The border restrictions came into effect from midnight 19 March to almost all travellers, except returning New Zealanders,” she said.

See Card spending on travel halves in March for more detailed hospitality card spending data.

South Canterbury Shout Out

This section will hilight businesses that are “doing good” in this Covid-19 crisis.

The first big shout out goes to Barker’s of Geraldine. Amongst all the chaos of Lockdown their key concern was how to ensure locals in need benefited from any unsold edible food and they are now making donations to organisations like City Mission, Salvation Army and some localised churches and rest homes.

Thank you Barker’s.

At Barker’s, Corporate Responsibility is all about doing the right thing by our People, our Products, our Community and our Environment. Its about creating trust and is our social license to operate.

Over the coming weeks we will be donating unsold, edible food to people in need via organisations like City Mission, Salvation Army and some localised churches & rest homes.
FREE webinars open to ALL businesses 
Stay up to date and informed
To register for upcoming webinars or to view on-demand webinars, visit the Chamber’s Business Support Webinars page.

Please note that May webinars will be added one the Business Support Webinars page in the next couple of days, including a webinar on “Getting Online” and four webinars on different aspects of “Well-being”.

Our previous webinars available on-demand:
Register to watch live or on-demand:
Wednesday, 22nd April, 2020,
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Business Resources:

COVID-19: Information for businesses - This is the New Zealand government’s central resource for COVID-19 business information.
Alert Level 3 Information - from Prime Minister's announcement on April 16 2020

COVID-19 Wage Subsidy - You can now seek assistance in way of a wage subsidy or leave payment. Apply as an employer HERE, or as a self-employed worker HERE.

Official COVD-19 website - - This website has everything you need to know about Covid-19 in one place. Learn the simple steps you can take to unite against the virus and slow its spread. Find out what help is available and get the latest updates. 

Covid-19 Employer Support - Find out more on Wage Subsidy available to support employers affected by COVID-19.

Essential Businesses - What are essential businesses? Essential businesses, and those who support them, will continue to provide the necessities of life for everyone in New Zealand. See the latest detailed overview of essential businesses.

Common questions on support for employers during COVID-19 - Answers to some common questions about how the wage subsidy works with tax and for charities.

Ministry of Primary Industries Covid-19 Resources Page - Find information about COVID-19 and the primary sector, including essential businesses operating through the Alert Level 4 lockdown.

Register for safe practice for essential COVID-19 businesses - The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has set up a register for safe practice in the sector as New Zealand moves to National Alert Level 4 in response to COVID-19.

Ministry of Health - This section provides the latest updates, information and advice on COVID-19, as well as information in other languages and formats.

Immigration New Zealand COVID-19 guidance - Information about Alert Level, visas, isolation and temporary border measures for all travellers, student visa holders, migrant workers and employers.

Business Assistance contact numbers

Wendy Smith  |  027 229 2949  |

Fiona Stevens  |  027 434 9322  |

Raewyn Bell  |  027 500 4222  |

Finance and Training: Janet Hogan  |  027 634 6780  |

Certificates of Origins processing: Fiona Stevens  |  027 434 9322  |

Membership and Events: Timea Mester  |  028 409 6389  |

South Canterbury website: Raewyn Bell  |  027 500 4222  |

YES: Stacey Darrell  |  027 223 7170  |

Raewyn Bell

Business Advisor
25 Canon St I PO Box 919 I Timaru I New Zealand
ddi: +64 3 555 5092 | p: +64 3 687 2733 | m: +64 27 500 4222
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South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce · PO Box 919 · Timaru, 7940 · New Zealand