Like most countries, New Zealand's (NZ) economy is mainly comprised of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The coronavirus pandemic's impact on SMEs is still unfolding, but previous economic shocks and natural disasters suggest that SMEs can be disproportionately impacted. The NZ government responded to the pandemic by imposing one of the most stringent lockdowns on businesses and communities internationally. This caused significant disruption, leading to unprecedented financial and social shocks. Despite this, NZ achieved its' strategy of eliminating community transmission of the virus while maintaining reasonable economic stability. This chapter explores how NZ's SMEs responded to the pandemic, lockdowns, and border closures, and considers the government's role in helping businesses to survive and then ultimately thrive.
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