The announcement on what coming out of alert level four could look like will tell us if and when some of our members may get back to business with a shift away from “essential” economic activity to “safe” economic activity, but I am sure there will still be many personal restrictions remaining.
At the completion of week three, we certainly seem to be living in the resurgence of ‘Cocooning’, but a bit different to the cosy nest trend that pervaded the 80’s predictions by futurist and author Faith Popcorn. After years of being encouraged to live in smaller spaces and spend time outside with families and friends, suddenly being forced to cocoon in our homes is quite another matter as we discover the challenges of working from our homes while managing families in the same space, all with increasing demand on our broadband services.
Popcorn’s trend of ‘Atmosfear’, is now more relevant than ever and her ‘FutureTense’ captures the deep consumer unrest related to what we call FOF (Fear of the Future). We are undoubtedly living in a ‘quarantine of consumption’ (Li Edelkoort) at the moment and if we look to the trend forecasters as to how this may play out in retail, we certainly are in new territory.
A staggering 114 billion items of clothing are produced every year, and we have to ask how this will be impacted as shoppers cut costs (albeit somewhat unwillingly) in this period of economic uncertainty. Will shoppers still be satisfied with fashion as usual (in throwaway heaps) or will they be looking for beautiful and meaningful items that have been well crafted and carefully curated.
Parnell is extremely fortunate in that we have a select group of niche retail that is valuable, desirable and not mass consumption led. People may buy less in the future, but we believe there are certainly opportunities to target those consumers who are looking for something special, individual and creative.
KIWIS for KIWIS
A heartening development in the past few weeks is the innovation and generosity being demonstrated by local businesses to offer free services to Kiwi Businesses. Here in Parnell we have our very own Virtual Tip Jar set up by Parnell based Terabyte to support local hospitality during this time.
Communicating in a time of crisis is key, and it is something The Icehouse embraces. The first series of Icehouse webinars touched on the importance of staying connected, highlighting the positive impact this has on our wellbeing, mental health and resilience. Fresh perspectives and challenging ourselves to think differently might seem daunting right now, but often it can be the secret ingredient to getting clarity about what to do next. If you missed them, recordings are online.
Chris Lynch has just published an article about the Governments suite of new measures to provide relief for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chief among the action points announced is a tax loss carry-back scheme which could give cash to businesses that are, or anticipate being, in loss.
TAGGING VANDALISM & CONTRADICTORY ESSENTIALS
We are all grappling with the many contradictions around what can be termed essential services as the government try and find their way through this maze.
We have fed our suggestions into the Auckland Mayoral Business Advisory Panel tackling some of these subjects such as why the butcher, baker and green grocer cannot remain open if they can demonstrate robust protocols, as well as the anomaly that we can purchase online from other countries but not from many New Zealand businesses, which in our view could certainly continue trading.
Parnell has regrettably seen a surge of tagging in the past few weeks on prominent premises in Parnell. After years of keeping this under control this is very distressing. The usual process is we report to Auckland Council and the landowner and have it removed as fast as possible as we know that tagging often leads to further tagging plus opportunistic crime. HoweverAuckland Council have advised us that only ‘offensive’ graffiti removal is considered an essential service at this time. In addition, private graffiti removal contractors have also been advised that only tagging on transport corridors is considered essential.
We have taken this matter up with local MP’s, Councillors, Auckland Council as well as the Waitematā Local Board and hope in the next few weeks this will be resolved, otherwise I dread to think what our streetscapes may look like post lockdown.
As different situations are clarified the list of services is being updated regularly. Keep checking the list if this pertains to your business.
We have had good feedback on the wage subsidy implemented by the Government and hope that if you met the criteria, you have applied. However we realise this does not offer surety in the medium term for many SME’s.
Leases and rental agreements. We have had many questions around leasing arrangements and it is not our mandate to intervene. We recommend you contact your preferred legal advisor as they are in the best position to give advice regarding these documents and you may wish to review the advice from the Auckland District Law Societies Deed of Lease 2012 with regard to Clause 27.5, if this pertains to your agreement. Retail NZ/The Register also provides a very good overview in this regard.
Can you take payments in advance? The Register offers some good advice and a word of caution for businesses taking money in advance of delivery.
Auckland Emergency Management will be working with the Waitemata Local Board to pilot a business resilience programme to be delivered by Resilient Communities. Business associations will be invited to participate and we’ll provide more details as the pilot rolls out.
ATEED. To ensure the resources and support they provide meets the changing needs of Auckland businesses, they are doing regular surveys. The results of the first survey are here, and they are keen for business to participate in the next survey. Your input is an important part of developing useful, timely help and support. This feedback also helps them provide Auckland-specific data to their partner organisations, including central government, in order to inform appropriate responses.
Our team continue to working remotely, and are being kept extremely busy supporting our members by publishing any online business activity that is brought to our attention. In addition several members have taken advantage of our Free online Audit. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions to email@example.com.
Security via Platform 4 Group has been increased in the evening hours as documented in several articles last week.
Kind Regards Cheryl Adamson, General Manager