Channel Magazine – More economic challenges ahead

By Kevin O’Leary, General Manager, Business North Harbour

Following the holidays, as we gradually return to our latest version of normality, I hope that 2021 has started on a positive note for you all, as we attempt individually and collectively to put the unique challenges of 2020 behind us.

I am asking you to start the new year as you ended the previous one: by buying local and utilising locally available goods and services. Our local businesses continue to need your ongoing support. Indeed, for many small businesses in particular, your support of the local economy has been the difference between survival and closure.

Long-term, sustainable economic recovery is of paramount importance nationally, regionally and for our local economy. However, the growth of our economy at all levels continues to be held back by the situation which sees stock being stranded on ships rather than being available for purchase. This problem continues to plague many local retailers and wholesalers as our ports struggle to cope with the arrival and off-loading of containers for a plethora of reasons.

Many of you, no doubt much to your frustration, will have witnessed first-hand the empty shelves or you may have noticed the line of vessels anchored in local waters, waiting for their turn to dock. I sincerely hope that a solution to this issue can be found sooner rather than later so that businesses and consumers alike can return to an appropriate level of supply and demand that will serve to effectively stimulate local economic recovery.

In addition to the lack of stock for businesses and job losses for residents, further pressure is soon to be added to business and North Shore household budgets which you may not be aware of. Auckland Council in February/March is seeking your feedback on their proposals for the latest 10-year budget, as it seeks to fill the hole in its finances due to the pandemic. Proposals include a 5% rates increase next year and Watercare has recently approved an increase of 7% in prices for the next two years and other increases that could see prices double in the next 10 years.

There will be other economic challenges ahead so as we all look forward to and hope for much more positive and enjoyable times, the team at Business North Harbour hope you enjoy a successful 2021, whatever the definition of success looks like for you this year.

Phone: 09 968 2222,
Mobile: 027 479 9563,
Email: kevin@businessnh.org.nz

SOURCE: Channel Magazine

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Bernadette Robert

Bernadette Robert