Kia ora from the Chief Executive

This year has been incredibly challenging for so many of our members. The transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework / Traffic Light system for Aotearoa on 3 December has been welcomed by all of us. It provides a pathway to recovery; however, it is only the beginning of what will be a long road back to profitability for many. We stand ready to support members on that journey.

We are committed to strengthening our community of members, providing the learning, legal and consultancy services we know you value, whilst also highlighting opportunities to tap into additional assistance from Government-funded programmes. We have been advocating hard on your behalf and we know it has been incredibly frustrating – we will continue to try and get Government agencies focused on the opportunities to help businesses succeed.

Here are a few of the positive steps forward for businesses in recent weeks:

First Steps – this is a new health and wellbeing support service which is now available to the under-pressure Auckland business community. Business owners have been operating in an environment of uncertainty, looking after employees and families while continuing to manage deadlines, but now it’s time to take care of you. First Steps has been designed with your health and wellbeing in mind. Please click here for more information.

Transition Payment – as announced by the Government, a new Transition Payment has been arranged for eligible businesses in Auckland, Waikato and Northland who have been affected by COVID-19 restrictions. This one-off payment will be activated through the Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) criteria and be available from 10 December. Please click here for more information.

Vaccine Pass and Verifier App – hospitality venues, close-contact businesses, events, air transport and gyms are just some of the types of businesses required to verify the vaccination status of their customers. The new verifier app is ready to download from the Apple and Google Play stores. Scanning a customer’s My Vaccine Pass QR code with the app is the only way to confirm their vaccination status. Please click here for more information.

Activate Tāmaki Makaurau – launched on 1 December, this new assistance programme provides Auckland businesses affected by extended Alert Level restrictions with access to much needed advice, planning support, implementation plan funding, and mental health and wellbeing support. Please click here for more information, or phone us on (09) 367 0927 to discuss your eligibility for these services.

I want to thank you for the many sacrifices you are continuing to make this year. I hear daily about the pressure our member businesses are under. Thanks also for the input and positive feedback we have received from so many of you.

The EMA offices will be closed from 25 December 2021 until 7 January 2022 during the Christmas / New Year period. Our AdviceLine team will still be available to support you, please contact them on 0800 300 362 between 8am – 8pm (Mon – Thurs) and 8am – 6pm (Fri). Please let me know via email if there is anything else we can be doing to support you –

Brett O'Riley

Brett O'Riley

December 2021

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