Christchurch retailers want Government to mandate vaccinations for customers - survey

Survey results show Christchurch's central businesses would back the idea to serve only those who are vaccinated - and they want the Government to mandate it.

The drastic response comes as many in the city continue to struggle financially - and look for ways to protect their businesses.

Shopping bags and foot traffic seen on the streets in Christchurch's CBD make it look like business is good, but looks are deceiving, according to the from the Central Business Association survey results and 500 plus members.

"Nearly a quarter of them are actually looking at letting go of staff which I think is really, really concerning, a large number are losing money, there's a number of them who believe they're going to be closed this time next year," Annabel Turley, Central Business Association Chair, told Newshub. 

The majority reporting fewer customers and smaller than usual average spends but that's not the surprise finding - it's the unanimous backing for Government to mandate that patrons and customers be vaccinated.

"That was probably one of the most interesting results from the survey. I think it is sort of a health and safety thing because no one really wants to be that business that someone comes in and gives COVID to their patrons and then they're closed down for 14 days," Turley said. 

The results have been forwarded to local MP's and major political leaders.

The response from people we spoke to today were overwhelmingly in support. 

"Considering how fast the virus is spreading and how it's easier to spread than the first strain I think it's acceptable," one person said. 

"As long as if I'm fully vaccinated and can go to festivals I'm good," another said. 

"Vaccines are necessary and they keep people safe," one other agreed. 

A campaign to get 90 percent of Cantabrians vaccinated by Labour Weekend is set to kick off any day now which organisers hope will help get business booming again. 

"We know that high levels of vaccination will give us back the freedom and the quality of life that Cantabrians enjoy and it will enable us to get our borders open and it will remove some of those restrictions that are really limited our economy right now and limiting those businesses to trade at full volume," Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce (CECC) CEO Leeann Watson said. 

"It's very, very clear that our business community particularly those in the central city continue to be quite significantly impacted by COVID and by the latest lockdown and the current alert levels so we know that they do want some real certainty and they want some certainty with advanced warning so they can be well prepared." 

The survival of these businesses could depend on it.