Heather du Plessis-Allan: Five more days a huge cost for small businesses

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 20 Apr 2020, 7:18PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Five more days a huge cost for small businesses

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 20 Apr 2020, 7:18PM

I’m so disappointed on behalf of small and medium-sized businesses.

I can’t even begin to think how hard this must be for them - the prospect of trying to last an extra five days. For some, they could barely last four weeks.

Five more days will tip many over.

From the relative comfort and seclusion of lockdown bubbles, I’m not sure enough people realise how hard this will be for businesses.

It’s insulating to have the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister say it's just two more working days. It's not, it's five - which business that has been shut for four weeks would not work all five available days to catch up?

Many retailers would’ve shipped over the weekend. Same with takeaway outlets, same with construction and manufacturing.

I’m disappointed because it’s patently not necessary - being in level four is not necessary, and probably never needed to be.

The PM herself admits our level three is really not that much different to our level four except businesses can operate

If it’s not much different, why not allow it?

I think the key is the Health Ministry. I suspect they haven’t been able to get their acts together this whole time. I suspect we were put into level four because our health ministry didn’t have the contact tracing capacity to track down contacts of infected people fast enough

They didn’t have the testing capacity to know where cases were. I suspect we are staying in lockdown because of exactly that same reason.

Ashely Bloomfield admitted yesterday that their contact tracing ability is not at gold standard and won’t be for another week

They’ve had weeks to get ready. They even had the Ayesha Verrall report telling them to sort it out for at least a week. Their inability to do that is costing us a huge price.

The inability or unwillingness of our leaders’ to look across at Australia and see we can achieve the same results while not crippling business is costing us a huge price.

It’s not going to do a lot for economic credibility of the parties of government at election time, when they tell small, medium and even large businesses that all their decisions took into account the plight of business, as that clearly didn't happen today.