Hosts struggling with high fixed costs and low income are asking for more concrete support, after a “lively” Zoom meeting with local representatives left them speechless.
As the resurgence payment, a lump sum of $ 3,500 offered to businesses to support their fixed costs, is expected to continue as more than once, and tariff deals are on the table, business owners say that these actions do not go far enough to cover monthly bills that number in the tens of thousands.
Stacie Warren, who owns Century Park Motor Lodge with her husband, said he felt their concerns were “falling on deaf ears.”
âThey’re just scripted. I don’t know how to put it another way, they all have the exact same answers.
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Warren and several other accommodation providers held a Zoom call this week with Nelson MP Rachel Boyack and Deputy Mayors of Nelson and Tasman, calling for more support. But she said she was “disappointed”.
âNelson companies actually need to know that [representatives] support us, âWarren said.
She said the meeting got “a bit lively” towards the end, but frustrations were bubbling up for business owners.
MARTIN DE RUYTER / STUFF
Stacie Warren tries to find a way to raise $ 40,000. This is the amount she needs to meet her monthly bills.
“Why are we begging them to help us, why don’t they come to us to offer help?
âThey said we were the same as a mum and dad lawn mowing business that has no overhead.
“We don’t fit into that same box … they need to hear that these bills are huge and that we have no income.”
One particular sticking point was that this time around, companies had to prove they had a 40% cut in revenue from the Auckland lockdown. Since most bookings are now made with email addresses and cell phone numbers, rather than postal addresses, Warren said it was nearly impossible to prove a connection.
âWhat do they want us to do? Now we have to say ‘John Smith is not coming because of the Auckland lockdown’ – how? “
She said business owners had been encouraged to approach their representative bodies, such as Hospitality NZ and the Chamber of Commerce, but this advice was not particularly helpful.
“We have already been to their homes, they have already been to their homes [Minister of Finance] Grant Robertson, and he’s already ignored us. I don’t know what we are doing now.
âWhat cost, what losses, have these deputies had personally? Because we all watch the money literally fly away. Has any of them suffered any pay cuts? Did any of them say, âShare the painâ? It was only the companies that took the hit. We are the sacrificial lamb.
Boyack admitted that there was no way for the government to fund all trade deficits, but subsidies would be available on an ongoing basis.
âWe have indicated that the resurgence support payment will continue, it is no longer a one-time payment.
âWe’re not going to be able to cover everyone’s costs. If we were to cover 100 percent of the costs of businesses across the country, that would be a huge sum … [but] our goal is to keep people connected to their jobs.
She said the lack of support from business owners to reduce âpeople’s highest fixed costsâ was frustrating.
âI call on business owners to step in here. It is frustrating for me to hear that many business owners are not offering rent reduction during this foreclosure which I think would be the most important factor for these business owners. Many of them are able to offer a reduced rent offer.
To that end, she said she was pushing for changes to the commercial lease laws that had been initiated earlier.
âThis is something that I have brought up with my colleagues – and it comes at the highest cost to companies in the industry.
âSome commercial leases actually contain a clause that requires a reduction in rent in these circumstances. Not all of them do. What was proposed last year was to put that in law.
Nelson’s deputy mayor Judene Edgar, who also joined the call with accommodation providers and Boyack, said she understood from the meeting that while businesses appreciate the wage subsidy, ” salaries are only about 8 to 15 percent of costs.
âSome of their biggest costs were electricity, ranked number one, insurance was number twoâ¦ and number three was leases. Homeowners just don’t have any incentive to cut. “
Edgar said business owners also noted that by paying for insurance it does not cover them for lost income in the event of a pandemic.
Regarding the board’s perspective, she said that while there did not appear to be any specific demands for the board at the meeting, tariff payment systems were in place for people to be able to understand. make the request if they needed it.
âIt’s very confidential – it’s their financial information – so they don’t want governance involved in this, but absolutely contact our rating team. “
She said Nelson City Council had options available, including payment plans, rather than large lump sum payments, or even postponements to a later date.
âPeople have nothing in the tank this time, that’s the main thing. Many reserves were used up the last time; these are financial reserves, but they are also emotional reserves, and it’s really hard to replenish.