Coronavirus: #Shopkiwi campaign launched to help New Zealand businesses recover from lockdown

A new campaign has been launched to help New Zealand businesses recover from the severe impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Government announced on Monday that the country's level 4 lockdown would be extended until 11:59pm on Monday when it would be downgraded to level 3 for two weeks.

Currently, only essential businesses are allowed to operate but at the lower alert level, any business deemed "safe" will be allowed to reopen - provided all face-to-face contact is avoided. Delivering online shopping to customers will now also be allowed.

To help some of those businesses and retailers get back off the ground, a campaign called #shopkiwi has been started, allowing New Zealand companies to sell products directly to consumers online.

"New Zealand businesses have been waiting with bated breath to find out when they can reopen, and they need all the help they can get," Buy NZ Made executive director Ryan Jennings said.

Businesses that join the #shopkiwi campaign will be added to a list so Kiwi consumers can find and shop at their online stores more easily.

"These businesses can now focus on turning their inventory into cash," Jennings said in a statement.

Business NZ chief executive Kirk Hope told The AM Show on Tuesday companies were feeling the pinch after shutting up shop for a month.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the decision for lockdown to end on Monday was about ensuring New Zealand doesn't lose what has been achieved so far and to minimise the risk of going back to alert level 4.

Coronavirus: #Shopkiwi campaign launched to help New Zealand businesses recover from lockdown
Photo credit: File

"No one wants a yo-yo. That would be bad for health, it would be bad for people's livelihoods and the economy," she told The AM Show.

On Friday, Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced $9.9 billion of the Government's COVID-19 wage subsidy scheme had been paid out to 1.6 million workers.

The Government's response to the pandemic was "a long game, a marathon -  not a sprint", he said.