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Bay of Plenty Region
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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Help, care, think … box on

Sleepless nights and endless worry – for thousands of business people across the Bay these are facts of life right now.

I compare Covid-19 era business life to boxing – the bouts are ugly, brutal, aggressive and hard to watch.

Some fighters hit the canvas hard in round one. Some have been hurt and are dazed, with the trainer thinking of throwing in the towel right now. And some are well-behind on points, but vowing to box on.

The ref has stopped the fight for medical assessment and to clean off the blood, but the crowd are hushed – there are still so many rounds to be fought, how’s it going to end? Nobody thinks their “safe bet” is safe anymore, because no one is sure about anything. There is no certainty that the champ will win in the end.

The trainer says, “keep up your guard, survive this round and you can take it in the closing rounds.”  Although all the fighters hear their trainers’ words ringing in their ears, deep down they’re not convinced they will even survive this round, let alone the next one.

I’ve never boxed competitively. But it does feel to me like we are in the match of our lives and we’re not even thinking about winning –we’re just trying to survive the fight.

Here at Bay of Plenty Business News we’ve had to dig deep, but certainly no more than any other Bay business, and it is terrifying. And yet we nearly all can say, “at least we haven’t got it as bad as them.”

Who is “them?”

Them is the two-person tourist operator that just took out a personal loan for a new tourist minivan that is now parked up, the dream over.

Them is the retailer who just signed the lease on the new shop – it was a bit more expensive, but so much better. The shop is now vacated with the “available for lease” sign back in the window.

Them is the young travel consultant who topped sales in December. was promoted in February, and who is now unemployed.

Them is the logging contractor who employed 10 new people last November, when China was eating up them logs, who is now out of business.

… and so the list goes on.

To all of you who are one of “them”, we say, you are not alone and you have not failed.

The Covid-19 punch was below the belt. But we will see some remarkable comebacks.

Alan Neben
Alan Neben
Publisher Bay of Plenty Business News

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