The team at Amplify distributed a Business Sentiment survey during Level 3 (August 2021), to give us meaningful insight into local business sentiment during the August 2021 Covid-19 outbreak. We received a great response, and it was pleasing to read that there was generally a positive outlook from most businesses around the district. The survey provided us with a significant understanding of the challenges businesses are facing and a better understanding of what we need to focus on to help local businesses.
We wanted to know if businesses were opening at Level 3, and if this was viable for businesses. Additionally, if operating at Level 3 what is income compared to usual.
We asked businesses what they had learnt from the first lockdown in 2020 that has been applied now to weather the current lockdown. The three key themes to emerge from this question are:
Less stress and anxiety this time around, lockdown is a familiar entity and we will come through this.
Importance of having cash reserves in place
Communication is KEY; with staff, suppliers and customers
"We understand now the processes and systems around lockdowns, the impact they have on our business, and how to effectively communicate to our clients and community"
"Felt more confident this time round, a better understanding of what is likely to happen around support packages. We now know that at L3 we can start up again"
"Be prepared at all times for immediate level changes, set-up working from home resources, communication is paramount for staff and customers"
Areas in which businesses need support from Amplify
We asked what businesses saw as the biggest roadblock to getting back to full capacity; clear sentiment here is that businesses struggle with any form of alert level, Auckland being at a higher alert level exacerbates this situation. Supply of stock and shortages of stock are major issues. Social Distancing and the rules of Alert Level 2 creates issues of capacity and also customer confidence
"Continued alert level changes and ever changing rules, plus delays in what the rules are"
"Auckland coming out of Level 4 so that we can get supply out of Auckland"
"Product and those who do not want to be in close proximity to others"
"Visitor numbers to region, people feeling safe to go out and about and understanding new rules for level 2 i.e. facemasks"
The largest areas businesses required support was Marketing (21.6%) followed by Financial Planning (16.4%). Other areas of support identified included Marketing of L2 rules to the general public to increase understanding, lobbying the government for a more generous wage subsidy and rent relief and attraction of staff to the region
Businesses identified the key things Amplify can do to support them right now is to provide timely and relevant information and advice on business support and key developments.
Additionally lobbying the government on the realities of operating business in the current environment, promoting the region and encouraging the population to support local.
Only 6% of businesses felt that they had not received enough information about the government support packages available.
76.8% of businesses agreed that they would like to be able to encourage staff to become fully vaccinated.
As evidenced by the responses below, this survey generated responses from a good cross-section of industries and different sized businesses.
This survey feedback will help us to:
Frame up our seminar and workshop programme to ensure we are offering you a programme offering the information you need. We have an upcoming Engine Room event focussed on Digital Marketing and Business Resilience. Additionally a Design Thinking workshop focussed on reframing problems, being truly customer-focused and creating impactful solutions
We will lobby government with the issues that are affecting you, on matters that we can effect. This includes direct contact with MP's MBIE and regional & local government.
There is also a second Level 2 Business Insights Survey as we would like to update on business confidence and challenges with extended lockdown.