Coronavirus: Small businesses plead for Government assistance as New Zealand moves into alert level 3

For the business world, the recovery started in earnest on Tuesday when the country entered alert level 3. 

But it's a tale of two economies - those that can operate under level three and those that can't.

Employees had their temperatures taken at City Rail Link construction sites before 200 workers hit the heavy machinery on Tuesday- by the end of the week it'll be 400. 

Mass construction is one way the government wants to rebuild our economy but even with that in mind Steel and Tube has announced it would cut up to 200 jobs.

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni says it will get worse before it gets better. 

"Unemployment will rise before it improves, we need to continue to act quickly to keep New Zealand working," she said.

Keep New Zealand Working is a sort of Government matchmaking service launched on Tuesday. It links those who're out of work due to COVID-19 with businesses needing their skills. 

It might be hard to imagine businesses taking on more staff right now - but some are run off their feet

For Womens bookstore owner Carole Beu, level 3 is boom time.

"We're completely swamped, it's wonderful we're thrilled to bits," she told Newshub.  

The Ponsonby store won't be able to make up all it's losses - but it's a start.

"It's not going to make up for what we've lost but it's going to mean that a little bit of cash flow is trickling in."

Those who can't operate are reaching a breaking point - telling Parliament's COVID-19 response committee they want more than the wage subsidy - proposing rent relief or cash grants- anything to help. 

The Government is revealing the Budget in two weeks time - that'll be an even longer two weeks for the small businesses who still can't go to work. They need immediate clear signals from the Government that help is on the way before they take drastic actions.