Friday, 27th August, 2021

Wendy Smith Chief Executive of the South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce says this afternoon’s announcement regarding the extension of Alert Level 4 to 11:59pm on Tuesday 31 August is disappointing, as many businesses in South Canterbury had been hoping to open.”  Although it is good to get confirmation that from next Wednesday, all of New Zealand south of the Auckland boundary will move to level 3, as this will enable another tranche of businesses to at least partially open.


 Treasury has forecast the Lockdown to cost the country $1.45b per week – and that’s just the economic impact, not to mention the emotional effect on many people. This is a very tough time to be a business owner and we are asking government to increase the financial support available for businesses.


The Government absolutely has to weigh any decision-making with the impact on public health.  The Chambers of Commerce are asking the government to identify ways to operate safely and accelerate our vaccination programme. This will be critical that we do everything we can to help businesses; to find a way for our exporting manufacturers to continue to trade on the global market, and to help our SMEs continue to keep trading.


The Delta variant poses new risks and requires a new way of thinking, but we can still take the lessons we have learned over the past 12 months along with the improvements in technology and come up with a different plan.


“Although we appreciate the Government’s longer term signalling in today’s announcement which helps businesses plan in what continues to be an extremely challenging and uncertain environment, our businesses are saying they need more financial support” said Wendy Smith.  “The reserves were used up last time and they now need to stay afloat for a further period with no or very little trade. We will continue to work with Government to help advise and support businesses during this time.”


For business support and advice and to stay connected join the South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Wendy Smith, Chief Executive, phone 027 229 2949

The South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce is the voice of South Canterbury business, serving the community since 1905. With over 530 members and with a strong national and international Chamber family, we work together to build better business outcomes.  We recognise that healthy business cultures lead to the improved wellbeing of all South Cantabrian’s.