Chamber CEO Commentary
By Nicky Aldridge-Masters | Posted: Saturday July 3, 2021
Reports from a number of sources show that the economy has proved to be resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic with many sectors doing better than pre-lockdown. However there are growing pressures on business.
Economic Confidence Up
Indicators during the June quarter show the economy bouncing back, although with constraints building. The continued border restrictions have presented challenges for business includes staff shortages and supply chain issues. Businesses are also facing increasing costs from a number of directions including rising employment costs, shipping costs, rates, electricity costs...the list goes on.
We are interested to hear your experiences over the past quarter - please participate in our Business Survey by clicking this link. The survey is open until 19 July, 2021 and we will be using this information to paint a picture of the current Otago business community - its successes and its challenges.
Local Business Success Stories
It has been exciting to read some of the success stories from local businesses, many of which fly under the radar locally but have had incredible results globally. Two such businesses were recently sold to investors for impressive figures, giving the opportunity for the community to hear more about these amazing businesses: Timely and Education Perfect.
Wage Subsidy Audit
Given that some businesses have done better than expected over the past year, there have been calls for those businesses to return the Wage Subsidy paid out by Ministry of Social Development (MSD) over the lockdown period. If your business was one of those that did not experience significant financial setbacks due to to COVID-19, we encourage you to get in ahead of the MSD audit and return any subsidy that was paid. Recent reports show that the MSD fraud team will be working for another year on investigating wage subsidy fraud. We know that for many businesses this subsidy was a lifesaver, but for others it turned out to be a "bonus" - reflect on which category you fall into and do the right thing. Find out more here.
It is positive to see that the Government is investing in infrastructure to accelerate housing development. To grow our workforce we need to be able to house our workforce.
The Government has released criteria for councils, iwi and developers to pitch for infrastructure funding of $1 billion, with weighting towards bringing on multiple, affordable new homes quickly in urban centres and regions. Eligible projects include the new or upgrading of infrastructure for drinking water, waste water, sewage, roading, and flood management, which wholly or primarily enable the building of new and additional homes. For more information visit the Kainga Ora Website.