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Cook Islands business survey spells economic disaster

Regional News
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RAROTONGA (Cook Islands News/Pacnews) — Cook Islands business owners are facing the reality that they may not survive the financial fallout caused by the Covid-19 crisis.


A Private Sector Task Force Survey conducted earlier this month has revealed the extent of the forecast financial fallout for 38 local businesses due to the crisis.

For the six months to September, businesses are preparing for a 90% decrease in income in comparison to the same time last year.

On average income for survey respondents is forecast at U.S. $17,967 compared to actual income generated for the same period last year of U.S. $179,032.

Task force chair Fletcher Melvin said the results of the survey reflect what they are hearing every day from sole traders like market vendors to cafés and large corporates.

“In the last month we’ve had 440 calls and enquiries from businesses in need,” he said.

“Cook Islands businesses of all sizes are suffering financial hardship in these difficult and uncertain times.

“The task force is focused on getting businesses the help they need. Applying for the wage subsidy has been a challenge for many of the people coming to us for support. The government’s online system is an efficient way of managing the business grant and wage subsidies for many, but we’re seeing there’s a digital divide at play.”

The Private Sector Task Force will revisit the survey at regular intervals to track the situation as it evolves.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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