The Influencers: Leeann Watson

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive

In the space of a few months, the local business community has once again responded to an unprecedented situation with agility, reviewing and reworking not only their day-to-day operations, but also their plans for the future.
In early August, we received the news that after 102 days, the country had our first cases of Covid-19 outside managed isolation. While this was disappointing, it was not wholly unexpected. With many countries outside Aotearoa struggling to contain the disease – let alone eliminate it – there was always a possibility of new cases and community transmission.
These developments are a very real reminder that we need to revisit, revise and operationalise our own response plans – to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
By planning early, businesses can give themselves the best chance to stay open and operate safely in this rapidly evolving environment.
As there is a lot of speculation, mis-information and scaremongering out there, I would encourage all businesses to refer to official websites and trusted advisors to make sure you are across everything you need to be, are planning and preparing now for any change in alert levels, and are able to access the support you need and are eligible for – such as the new Covid-19 Resurgence Wage Subsidy and simplified COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme.
If you are a business owner or manager and would like advice during this challenging time, please contact our South Island Covid-19 Business Helpline on 0800 50 50 96 – and I encourage you to share this phone number with your networks. Kia kaha.



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