A fifth (20%) of businesses central New Zealand said they had no form of business interruption insurance, and 40% said they did have some form of the insurance. 34% said they were unsure, according to findings of a survey by the Wellington Regional Chambers of Commerce and Business Central.
When asked whether their business or organisation had any contingency planning in place, 17% of the respondents did not have any contingency planning in place whatsoever. 21% of respondents believed they had excellent contingency planning in place.

The quarterly survey was sent to Wellington Regional Chambers of Commerce and Business Central members across central New Zealand during a 15-day period in March and received 437 responses. The survey closed before the government moved to COVID-19 alert Levels 3 and 4. COVID Alert Level 4 was activated on 25 March and means that all non-essential businesses are closed with staff working remotely if they are able, and everyone has to stay at home except for exercise, or visiting essential services.

“Overall, central New Zealand business expectations dropped to record low levels, with a net 60 per cent of respondents expecting the economy to be worse in 12 months’ time,” said Wellington Chamber and Business Central chief executive John Milford, commenting on the survey results.

“Businesses’ confidence in their own prospects, as well as the regional economy, also dropped over the quarter. With net 13% and a net 45% of businesses saying thing will be worse for their business and region over the next 12 months respectively.”

“When we asked respondents what the biggest barrier their business is currently facing, 48 percent mentioned COVID-19 to some extent,” said Mr Milford.

“We would expect this to be higher now the government has activated COVID Alert Level 4.”

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