A suite of online resources has been developed to help small business owners plan for all types of emergencies, including pandemics like COVID-19.
Auckland Emergency Management (AEM) is providing easy-to-use advice and templates on its refreshed Work Ready section of the website.
AEM General Manager Kate Crawford says while businesses can’t predict when an emergency will happen, they can take actions to be more prepared.
“COVID-19 has significantly elevated the need to build the resilience of Auckland’s small businesses, many of which are currently closed as a result of the nationwide lockdown,” she says.
Emergencies can happen at any time and take many forms. This means businesses can be at risk from not only natural events like flooding, strong winds and earthquakes, but also face risks from power outages, water supply failure, terrorism and pandemics.
“Now is the ideal time to ensure business owners have the right business continuity plans in place, particularly as the country moves through the different COVID-19 alert levels and ultimately towards economic recovery,” she says.
“Auckland’s small to medium enterprises play a key role in the region’s economy and employment and make up 88 per cent of Auckland’s 196,000 businesses.
“We want to make it as easy as possible to get small businesses to put actions in place to respond to COVID-19, providing helpful advice and useful business continuity templates and guides to get them started.”
Business Continuity planning supports business to make informed decisions to keep their people safe and to enhance situational awareness during events to maintain safety and continuity of operation.
A business continuity plan identifies the most essential and critical parts of a business, potential risks to these critical services and prepares the business to recover as quick and easy as possible.
For those businesses impacted by COVID-19 and looking for financial support, the Government has introduced a range of support packages to help businesses during this time. These include a wage subsidy scheme, business cashflow and tax measures, and Māori business community support.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development’s Business & Innovation Advisors are also able to connect businesses with specialist expertise available via the Regional Business Partnership Programme.
For more information on COVID-19 in New Zealand, visit covid19.govt.nz