A survey conducted by Wellington Chamber of Commerce shows that more than 62 percent of businesses in Wellington were impacted in some way by the 7.8 earthquake on November 14.
Data was collected from members by all five of the region’s chambers of commerce – the Hutt, Porirua, Kapiti, Wairarapa, and Wellington. Businesses were also asked about the impact of the flooding event later the same week.
Wellington Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive John Milford said the survey showed that businesses across the region were fairly resilient, but there was still a lot of work to do.
“The earthquake event could have been a lot worse, and there is a decent chunk of businesses that have to start realising that.”
Of the 711 businesses that responded, 441 (62%) said they were impacted in some way by the earthquake. Around 86 (12%) said they had damage to premises, 60 (8%) had damage to stock, 162 (23%) had some form of closure due to building inspection, 237 (33%) had some sort of staff disruption, and 124 (17%) some form of other disruption.
When asked for further details of the impact, both direct and indirect, more than 33% mentioned disruption and/or impact on staff, nearly 16% mentioned damage, around 10% mentioned impact for clients, and 7% mentioned the inspection of buildings. Many noted the impact was worsened by both the earthquake and severe weather events being so close together (see below for details of the impact of the weather event).
The major impacts of the earthquake specified:
· freight movement, due to port and road/state highway closure
· travel, due to road/state highway and city closures
· reduction in business activity and sales, ranging from minimal to significant
· significant loss of income anticipated over coming weeks/months
· increase in business activity and sales (repair businesses, social service providers, hospitality providers located north of Wellington).
· business disrupted by power loss
· business impacted by physical damage to premises and/or stock
· closed premises, some from one day, one week, others longer (two weeks plus)
· closed business until building inspected
· staff unable to work due to personal circumstances or caring arrangements
· emotional impact on staff
· relocation of staff and/or services
· cancellations – appointments, courses, accommodation