BayBuzz asked Hastings City Business Association general manager Anita Alder how Hastings’ businesses are faring post-COVID and what retailers can expect in the coming months.
BB: What is the current feeling amongst businesses and retailers in Hastings city?
AA: While I cannot speak for all our members, from discussions I’ve had with many, they are nervous. They are remaining positive and doing everything they can to navigate Covid-19. Dealing with level restrictions, supply issues, stock levels, ongoing costs through periods of zero to low income and some are finding it difficult to recruit staff. It certainly is not an easy time; numbers are down, but the support of locals is keeping their spirits up.
BB: How many closures have you seen since Covid hit in March?
AA: We have seen a small number (7) of business changes – from closing due to retirement, businesses changing hands, some have downsized or relocated. These businesses fall within retail and hospitality sectors.
BB Are there new developments in the city that might generate more foot traffic or more businesses to the area?
AA There are a number of developments currently underway, such as the Tribune site, Municipal buildings and two more in planning, yet to be announced. Outside of the CBD you will also see developments underway at the top end of Heretaunga Street.
We have a number of joint recovery projects underway between the Hastings City Business association and the Hastings District Council. On top of that, a number of exciting events about to roll out while in Level 1, which will see many people venture into the CBD such as Blossom festival, Fringe Festival, Arts Festival and the Big Retail Street Sale.
Christmas will be extra special this year with the city coming to light. We are all looking to rally around our business owners, employers and their teams to support local.