Businesses buckling up for another week of level 4 lockdown

Businesses are buckling up for another week of COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown meaning only essential services can operate.

Economists say another seven days of restrictions will make a dent, but our economy could cope with a month-long lockdown.

On the menu, a longer lockdown and another week without takeaways is a blow to hospitality businesses like Beachside Babylon.

"We would love to be open under level 3 but obviously need to follow the safest practice for the public," Beach Babylon owner Maura Rigby says. "We're confident our cafe can survive another week however it has been a big cost.  

No takeaways have seen supermarkets slammed. They're short on staff after many were named as locations of interest.  

Countdown is down about 1000 staff, while Foodstuffs which owns New World and Pak'nSave has 350 staff out of action.

Essential workers can get Government-funded childcare at home, a service that's also in serious demand. 

"That's difficult because I'm hearing some really sad stories of people who are absolutely desperate for care for their children," Catherine Hawkes from The Inspired Kindergarten says.  

A nationwide lockdown is estimated to cost the economy up to $1 billion a week.

"You think of your cafes and restaurants first and foremost, they will struggle and continue to struggle," Kiwibank chief economist Jarrod Kerr says.  

Level 4 also means tools-down on construction sites, unless they're deemed nationally significant like Auckland's City Rail Link.

Retailers and other food services like butcheries, bakeries and greengrocers can only sell through contactless delivery. 

National MP Todd McClay sent this letter to Ministers this morning, saying many businesses "are unsure of whether they will survive", but economists are more optimistic. 

"Businesses are stronger going into this lockdown, there's a lot more confidence in the economy leading into this lockdown," Kerr says.  

That confidence will be boosted by the wage subsidy with $152 million already been paid out to 118,000 workers.

Watch the full story above.