Christel Chapman (Elisefou, Samoa) hasn’t been able to set foot in her business in 84 days. 

She opened her new business, Āla Skin, a boutique facial business in Auckland, only two months before the Delta lockdown hit.

Lena Solomon (Te Rarawa) opened her new cafe, Cornelia, during lockdown. They’ve been operating as a takeaway business under level 3, so they’re yet to have a single customer actually step foot inside.

Both women tell us what it’s like to open a business during a pandemic.

“My dream was to have this place full of people,” says Lena. “Instead, it's been greeting people from a two-meter distance and passing them a panino and saying goodbye.”

97 percent of all businesses in New Zealand are small businesses, with less than 20 employees, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Side by Side is a series where we meet two people with the same situation but different circumstances, side by side. Watch more episodes here.

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