Whanganui businesses recoup lockdown losses

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Whanganui & Partners says that strong consumer activity post-lockdown has meant the same amount has been spent with Whanganui businesses since February as over the same seven-month period last year.

Consumer data from Marketview shows for the week ending 6 September, spending in Whanganui was up by 15.2% compared to the same week last year. Spending nation-wide for the same period was up 5.8%.

Gaelle Deighton, interim CE of economic development agency Whanganui & Partners, says the district has seen strong growth in spending every week since the lockdown ended.

“On average, every week since lockdown has seen an 11.2% increase in spending compared to the same week last year. This substantial increase has meant that the spend we lost from the beginning of February, when COVID began to impact tourism and supply chains, has been made up post-lockdown. On paper, the past seven months look the same as those seven months in 2019.”

Deighton says it’s important to recognise that not every sector has experienced the same recovery.

“Sectors like tourism, hospitality and transportation were more affected by the lockdown, and it’s going to be a longer recovery for these businesses. There’s support available through Whanganui & Partners, and I encourage businesses still feeling the effects to access all the resources available to them.”

Deighton says the high-performing economy bodes well for the future of the district and the underlying resilience of the district’s businesses.

“Data shows that our economy is on the right track. We’re seeing month-on-month records broken in consumer spend, visitor spend and house values right now. We’re currently on track to see our highest ever annual consumer spend, which is amazing considering the significant interruptions to business this year,” Deighton said.

“More than ever, Whanganui is viewed as a desirable place to visit and live, and our businesses are feeling the benefit of that. Our job at Whanganui & Partners right now is to help our businesses adapt, pivot and grow so all of our sectors are feeling the benefit of the strong economy.”

Businesses that need support with the effects of COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the team at Whanganui & Partners or visit whanganuiandpartners.nz/sme for more information.