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Covid recovery plan for businesses like Waiting for Godot

Press release
Monday 11 Oct 2021

With growing case numbers and a rush to get vaccination numbers up, Heart of the City wants to see businesses involved in setting a clear pathway and timeframes to give certainty and hope for impacted businesses. Heart of the City is proposing a way forward that starts now, not in several weeks time.

“This is like Waiting for Godot. Many businesses are on the brink and every single day counts so we can’t just focus on one job at a time. There is also a growing mental health crisis that as yet is unquantified and unreported.  Business and sector groups are broadly aligned on what needs to happen to address this growing crisis and we need to urgently galvanise this into one plan, working directly with Government and officials to ensure both health and economic needs are met,” says Viv Beck, Chief Executive of Heart of the City.

“It’s good to see the focus on getting vaccination rates up but this needs to be faster and can’t just focus on one or two sectors at a time,” says Beck.

Our proposal to get a plan for business in place quickly is outlined below:

Vaccination Date

  • A date is set for everyone who can/wants to be double vaccinated to create urgency and focus.  This should be as soon as practically possible, (e.g. 21 November?)  Vaccine “passports” to become mandatory from that date.

Bring Government & Business sector together for united action

  • A representative from each impacted group/sector to meet with the Prime Minister & Minister of Finance this week to confirm needs
  • A one-day working session with business/sector groups and senior officials this week to determine a framework to submit to the Government that gets business moving and meets health needs – ie one plan.  This will include:
  • Alert Level System – how different levels will be defined, managed and communicated.
  • Vaccine passports – who, when, how?
  • Border Framework  (Domestic) – how this will be defined and managed; (International) MIQ and vaccination requirements, and date for opening
  • Financial support for qualifying businesses and timeframe (eg timeframe for wage subsidy & resurgence payment; access to low-cost & easy to repay money as subsidies reduce)
  • Other stimulation or support actions agreed
  • Clear plan and timeframe set this week – presented to Government for decision.