October 05, 2021 Share
Picnics and playdates will do little to ease the anxiety of Southland business owners struggling under level two lockdown and with no clear plan from the Government in sight, Invercargill MP Penny Simmonds says.
“While the picnics and playdates that the Prime Minister touted yesterday might be nice for the kids, if Mum and Dad don’t have a job at the end of the day then there’s not much to celebrate.
“The Government needs to understand that it cannot remain as relaxed and confident anymore about the economy’s resilience if it’s not going to offer businesses a clear, forward-looking plan.
“More and more retail and hospitality businesses say they can’t go on pumping their own hard-earned personal savings into keeping their businesses afloat amid this kind of uncertainty.
“It’s particularly frustrating for businesses in a place like Southland, where there haven’t been any Covid cases and current Ministry of Health data shows that close to 50 percent of Invercargill's population have now had their second Covid vaccination.
“Local businesses really are doing it hard – I haven’t seen our city looking so quiet for a very long time – and because there’s no forward-looking plan several large events, which could have added thousands to our local economy, are currently hanging in the balance.
“We have been let down by the Government, who has continued to focus on Auckland, giving little support, or credit, to communities and businesses in the South.
“Now after all the sacrifices that have been made, the Government has dropped its elimination strategy leaving local people feeling even more disillusioned.
“We urgently need a plan from this Government on how our economy will recover. We also need contingencies so that we don’t have to face another lockdown, with these decisions crucial for the future well-being of Southland and the rest of the country.”