New research reveals worrying state of small businesses

A new small Business Recovery research by American Express has revealed only around one in five (19 per cent) feel that their wider local community has rallied around them.

The challenges the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to small businesses, this new research continues to illustrate the importance of Kiwi’s supporting all New Zealand businesses not just their local businesses.

Covid-19 forced the entire country into a level three and four lockdown for seven weeks from March 23, causing small businesses to close and be without income for the majority of the time. 

Auckland then suffered a double whammy when they were forced into a level three lockdown after the first case of Covid-19 was reported after 102 free days. The Auckland lockdown lasted 19 days and again caused businesses to operate in very limited capacity. 

Rob Bourne, Country Manager for New Zealand at American Express, said, "this year has been incredibly challenging for many small businesses. More than ever, we need to show them our support."

The research also revealed a worrying state that around one-third (32 per cent) of businesses need consumers spending to lift within the next month or two just to stay afloat throughout 2021.

Bourne said small businesses are the backbone of our community. They often go above and beyond for their local communities, and that local sporting clubs, schools and community groups have long benefited from this generosity, so it’s time that the favour was returned.

"Our research has shown that the resilient Kiwi spirit is alive and kicking and we will continue to look at what we can do to keep the fire burning," Bourne said. 

"Now is the time for Kiwis to explore their local community more, see what else is out there for them and to support small businesses."   

Bourne has asked New Zealanders to go above and beyond for local small businesses. 

"In times like these, it’s not enough to simply fall back into regular shopping habits,” Boone said. “Small businesses are crying out for support, so it’s critical that shoppers look for any opportunity to shop somewhere new."