Publish date: 29/06/2020

The impact of Covid-19 on North Canterbury businesses is starting to become apparent, with the latest North Canterbury Business Opinion Survey showing redundancies, business closure forecasts and a drop in business confidence.

The survey, conducted during Alert Level 2 in May, included 154 businesses from the Waimakariri and Hurunui districts. Of those surveyed, 74% of businesses said they expect the general business situation in New Zealand to deteriorate over the next six months and 6% said they are facing the possibility of closure in the next six months. One percent of surveyed businesses had already had to close as a result of Covid-19.

ENC Business Support Manager Miles Dalton says it’s no surprise that the region is experiencing difficult times.

“This report does not paint a positive picture. We knew that would be the case as we’ve watched Covid-19 affect businesses across the globe over recent months and no region has been untouched by this crisis. But we are seeing some positives coming through too,” says Miles.

“For example, 20% of surveyed businesses have seen an increase in profit, recruitment levels remain steady and  local businesses have reported that it has become markedly easier to source new unskilled and semi-skilled staff (net +28% and +23% respectively) and slightly easier to source skilled employees (net +6%). 

“Thankfully there are some bright spots in this survey but, currently, most businesses are doing it tough. What we can say, however, is that the North Canterbury region is better placed in the longer term to weather the impact of this crisis due to our economy’s lower level of reliance on international tourism.

“Here at ENC we will continue to work hard to support businesses as they come up against the new challenges that Covid-19 has thrown at them.”

View the full Business Opinion Survey here.