COVID-19: Businesses beg to be allowed to reopen as lockdown brings financial pain

Thousands of businesses forced to close have already applied for Government support with some begging to be able to reopen.

Butcheries, bakeries and greengrocers can't open at alert level 4 but say they should be able to, to ease pressure on supermarkets.

This lockdown is set to leave Auckland butcher Reuben Sharples losing at least $7000 a week.

"It's gonna hurt and it's gonna be a roll-on effect. Taxes due next week, GST's due, and we've got no cash flow," the Aussie Butcher New Lynn owner says.

When level 4 hit, he donated 150 kilograms of fresh meat, and froze or sealed about $50,000-worth.

The rules don't allow him to open his doors to sell it - he can only offer contactless delivery, something he says isn't worth it.

"I don't want to let ourselves down, doing a service but not doing it properly," Sharples says.

He's not the only one facing meaty losses. Auckland's Shed 10 was supposed to host up to 4000 people at a sold-out fried chicken festival this weekend.

This is the second time it's been postponed.

"Obviously it's upsetting," says Food Truck Collective event director Maggie Gray.

"We've been able to apply for the wage subsidy which has kept us afloat. Ultimately when we host the event again, hopefully in September, the revenue will come through again."

What should have been a busy Saturday in Auckland city will be anything but.

A positive case was partying in the Viaduct last weekend. One week on, and owners of the surrounding bars and restaurants don't know when they'll be able to reopen.

"As we were coming into spring, obviously we were looking forward and doing planning for summer, yeah it just sort of is what it is, really," Saint Alice owner Andrew Roborgh says.

"All of these things create uncertainty for the business owner... and for employees as to their income and future work," adds Auckland Business Chamber CEO Michael Barnett.

As of Friday, 47,000 business owners or self-employed people had applied for the wage subsidy to help pay staff.

But with no money coming in, it'll still leave many short.

"Jacinda, like, just think of the local butcher and the greengrocer, we're just here to serve our community," Sharples says.

Butchers begging for a chance to make a buck.