Kiwis have been encouraged to spread the Christmas cheer this festive season by supporting local.
It comes as just 57% of local retailers surveyed by Retail NZ said they were confident they’ll survive the next 12 months.
Buy NZ Made executive director Dane Ambler told Seven Sharp the situation is “very tough” for local retailers.
“We’ve got several data points that are painting a pretty unfavourable picture for our small businesses at the moment.”
Liquidations have risen 40% compared to the same time last year, according to Centrix, with online retailers experiencing the highest rate of business failure.
In a Buy NZ Made survey, 64% of small businesses said they were struggling with rising costs, while 30% are struggling with cashflow and inflation. Less than 50% are optimistic about the Christmas period and a quarter say just staying afloat will be their focus in 2024.
Ambler said the difficulties currently being faced by businesses are “significantly harder for them than Covid”, as the local and government support which “really propped them up” at the height of the pandemic has “died off”.
While it might not signal the end of small businesses, “we may see changes certain industries”, he said.
“But ultimately, small businesses make up 97% of all firms in New Zealand and they will survive and they will thrive – they just go through tough periods where they really need local support.”
Ambler urged Kiwis to think about ticking off the Christmas wish list with local businesses ahead of the mad frenzy of Black Friday sales.
“In the lead-up to Black Friday, we can really think about how we support local businesses and think about rather than sending out money overseas via big box retailers, supporting small local businesses and keeping that money within the community.
“A lot of the businesses we go out to visit are on the edge or the last of their kind in New Zealand so it’s really, really important we get behind them this New Zealand Made Day.”