Sunday, July 25, 2021
Times of Georgia


The Dairy and Business Owners Group – a new nationwide advocacy platform for the small businesses formed recently – is calling on retailers, restaurateurs and business owners to stand for council election in 2022 to be a ‘business extinction rebellion.’

“You have to wonder if councillors and council managers have shares in Westfield given how they want to destroy retail in Auckland and Wellington especially,” says Sunny Kaushal, Establishment Chair of the Dairy and Business Owners Group.

This advocacy group was formed only recently a couple of months ago and aims to bring as many small businesses out of New Zealand’s estimated 4,000 dairies and 900 independent service stations to present a united voice about the challenges small businesses are facing. 

“If we don’t get adults at the council table next year, then thousands of retail and food businesses face extinction,” Kaushal said.

According to estimates by Bayley Real Estate, in central Auckland, the average number of pedestrians on Queen Street is down 30 per cent since mid-2018 with almost 1:10 stores (9.44 per cent) empty.

Similarly, as per JLL real estate Wellington’s CBD is also facing Covid-impact in last twelve months Kaushal told the Indian Weekender.

 “No one at these councils, or in government, seems to care or do anything about the beggars, the grime or the crime, which multiplies as each business closes.”

“Instead of taking a leaf from the big malls that offer free and safe parking, these councillors are anticar as are the faceless petty council officials behind them. Central Auckland is a mess.”

“The 60-months of chaos since the City Rail Link broke ground hasn’t helped.  In 2016 they said it would be completed by the end of this year for $2.5 billion.  It’s now going to be at least 2024 we are currently told, and the cost has shot up to at least $4.419 billion at the moment.”

“Now, Wellington’s councillors are looking to Auckland’s Queen Street and CBD as some template for its future.  They want to ban cars and pedestrianise New Zealand’s last true golden mile.  Have they been to Auckland?”

 “JLL said Lambton Quay is in decline until footfall and tourists return but with 3,000 carparks lost since 2016, the councillors there now want congestion charging and an extension to the time and cost of the few car parks that remain. The only ones smiling are Westfield’s shareholders.”

 “It’s time to get adults around the council table to make our towns and cities vibrant and the best ones who know about that are the businesses who sell to the general public.”

“It’s time for a Business Extinction Rebellion,” Sunny Kaushal said.

(Sandeep Singh)

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