July 02, 2020
Māori businesses in good shape to rise out COVID crisis
The chair of Māori trade group Te Taumata believes most Māori businesses are positioned to come out of the COVID-19 disruption in relatively good condition.
Chris Karamea Insley, who also heads Te Arawa Fisheries, says some sectors like seafood and especially live lobsters were hit hard in the early days of the pandemic, but the slow down in key Asian markets did not last as long as expected.
He says Māori businesses tend to carry less debt than their Pākehā counterparts, so they weren‘t struggling to pay their banks when sales dried up.
"There were some parts, some sectors where we as Māori are big like tourism that are hit very hard but generally across the board we carry relatively low levels of debt. That has cushioned Māori businesses. That has positioned us well to come out of COVID-19 maybe better than others," Mr Insley says.
With conditions in the United States and other large trade partners worsening, he believes it could be at least two years before Māori businesses get back to where they were before lockdown.
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