Kāpiti, 16 June 2020 – Only 35% ofKāpiti’s local businesses were able to operate in Level 2 fully, but the local economy is optimistic about the next 12 months as it begins to recover from COVID-19.  

The Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce surveyed members in May 2020 to assess the impacts of Levels 3 and 2. While both were challenging, 41% of local businesses surveyed are confident their business situation will be better, or substantially better, over the next 12 months.

Jacinda Thorn, Chair of the Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce, wants people to keep up their support of buying local with life returning to normal, and more people heading back into the office

 “While local spending was up 15% during Level 2, more people are commuting again, so we need to double down our efforts on choosing local first. We may experience an increase in spending in the early phase of Level 1, but all signs are pointing to tougher times over the coming months,” says Jacinda Thorn.  

18% of Kapiti businesses surveyed were likely to use the extended wage subsidy. 44.54% said they would like to see some of the $20 million government support budget allocated to support small businesses.  Workforce size expectations over the next 12 months were encouraging with 25% likely to be larger than pre-COVID, 48.5% the same. 18% of respondents said they are likely to increase investment in their business over the next 12 months.  

Businesses have also identified several challenges over the coming months.  

“Our survey shows they’re concerned about finance (31%), consumer behaviour (20%), compliance (14%), and staffing issues (11%).  Businesses will also look to reduce costs where possible, potentially introduce a wage freeze, and promote the benefits of their products and services more in the current climate.  

“It’s still very much early days, and we encourage flexibility as we begin our recovery. I want to encourage everyone in our business community to continue to do all we can to help as many businesses as possible during our recovery,” says Jacinda Thorn.  

The next survey will take place in August and will focus on the upcoming election.  

The Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce exists to advance the economy by creating wealth and employment and solve local business issues by providing a collective voice for business in Kāpiti. Over 300 members in Kāpiti belong to the Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce to stay connected, network and gain knowledge and support from our local membership.