Uncertainty about when they will reopen is once again proving disappointing for Tarnaki’s hospitality industry.
For Jade Lucas and Carl Mounder, who opened State Pasta and took over the garage in New Plymouth in mid-2020, this is their first real taste of Level 4 Lockdown.
“It feels a little unrealistic,” Lucas said. “Last year we were in the country for a lockdown, but we just came back from abroad.”
“We’ve been at Level 2 for a while, but that was when we just opened up, so this is our first time at Level 4, it’s interesting, but it’s stressful.”
He said it was difficult to plan when he did not know when he could resume work, but he would start selling online once the alert level was approved.
“For now, it’s really about making sure our staff is safe and feeling confident. Take some time at home, enjoy the downtime before we reopen.”
Barbara Olson Henderson, owner of Lemonwood Atrium, Okura, is using a lockdown sewing apron to sell at the cafe.
He said the three-day “break” came just as the Lemonwood Atrium was due to reopen after the winter break.
“We’ve been closed for three weeks. Everyone was there on Monday and Tuesday, preparing to be open on Wednesday, then putting things in the freezer there on Wednesday night.”
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Fortunately, her cafe had a good year after the March 2020 lockdown, and she wasn’t worried about the effects, unless it lasted longer.
“If it’s only three days, that’s fine,” he said. “To be honest, it was the right thing to do.”
Outlaws Van Prag, co-owner of New Plymouth’s Crowd House Bar and Restaurant, did not expect to be able to reopen on Saturday.
“I think you have to do what you have to do, but I don’t think we can do that for years and years, they have to open up sometime.”
Like other business owners, he was unhappy about the perishable food that would be wasted.
“We can get a wage subsidy, but we don’t get anything for our overheads, you get a little hit,” he said.
“Unless it’s been two months like last time, it was very difficult.”
Hemo Studunger, who launched Heveira’s Upside Down Entry with his wife Renate during the 2020 Level 4 lockdown, is worried about the survival of his business.
“Should I order in stock this weekend? One supplier will deliver this week, others don’t. We don’t know how to plan, it’s all messed up.
After the couple stopped planning to open on April 11 last year. Started with Level 3. A contactless takeaway service, which proved to be very popular.
But this time, with the highly transferable delta version of the virus in the community, those concerned are reluctant to go out on the weekends, even if a level change allows.
“It would be better not to return after three days but to wait until we are all clear,” he said.
Uncertainty over continued border closures and the risk of further quake lockdowns have made 2021 a “year of survival” for businesses.
“Although the locals are really helping us, people only have to spend a certain amount. They also have to pay for their mortgage and their daily life. They can’t eat out three times a week.