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New Television Show is Big News for Small Business

News release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Monday, 10 July, 2006)

New Television Show is Big News for Small Business.

The numbers speak for themselves: 25% of new businesses in New Zealand have issues with suppliers and resources. One third of small to medium businesses in New Zealand have issues with HR, property, equipment and tax. Almost 60% of businesses want a better understanding of how to deal with their bank manager. And 30% want more from their accountant.

New Zealand’s huge population of small businesses now have the best ally in the battle for commercial success thanks to Business Is Booming, a new interactive television series designed to provide the answers to all those tough business questions.

When eclectic Wellington-based media and product development company Wonderful got thinking about the fact that 85% of all businesses in New Zealand employed less than five people, they figured there had to be a better way to encourage good business practices for long-term success. The answer wasn’t reality TV. It was real TV.

The first 12 episodes of Business is Booming are scheduled for this year. The show is presented by successful New Zealand business woman Sharon Hunter and fresh TV face Matt Lawrey. The pair take viewers through expert business advice and real world examples to illustrate the pitfalls of starting a business and the ways to ensure your enterprise stays afloat.

The team at Wonderful not only found favour for their idea from Television New Zealand, but also from Inland Revenue, who have supported the show’s production.

Inland Revenue? Yes, it’s true. And as Minister of Revenue Peter Dunne says, it’s the perfect opportunity for the department to simplify tax for small and medium businesses (SMEs) and create an environment that makes it easy for businesses to comply with tax laws.

“Inland Revenue was approached with the idea for Business Is Booming and saw it as an excellent opportunity to provide SMEs with the sort of information that allows them to spend more time building their business and less time worrying about the ins and outs of tax legislation,” he says.

“Getting the right information to people at the right time is fundamental to achieving the department’s objectives, and if we expect people to meet their tax obligations voluntarily, we need to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.”

While there is no shortage of information out there for businesses, Wonderful partner Gavin Bradley says no current media campaign could deliver these complex messages more cost effectively than Business Is Booming.

“While it’s fair to say that New Zealand offers a huge amount of information in an effort to help these businesses, it’s also fair to say that this information is all over the place,” he says.

“It’s also disparate, prolific and written in a language that many people find difficult to understand so, after wading through it all, small business operators are often none the wiser!”

Who in small business would argue with that statement?

Business is Booming is, of course, not just about tax. The series provides answers for such topics as:

- How should you start up a company?

- How does depreciation work?

- How do you fire someone who’s been stealing from you?

- What’s the deal with provisional tax?

- And what the $%#@ is withholding tax?

- Should it be a partnership or limited liability company? Why?

- How do you register intellectual property?

- Do I need a website?

- How do I get venture capital?

- How did 42 Below do it?

Executive Producer Chris Cameron says the inspiration for the entire show (and its online show repeats and future online tutorials) came from a single thought: If only it was simpler to start up and sustain the livelihood of a small business.

“Anyone with the courage or skill to start their own business deserves support,” he says.

“Support comes in many ways but the fundamentals of business need to be understood. Therefore we aim to convey the right information in the right vernacular, effectively presenting a business education platform in an unorthodox and less than predictable manner.”

Business is Booming contrasts the experiences of real people in real business situations with professional and objective legal, accounting and tax advise, all wrapped up in an unorthodox and entertaining format that is all about celebrating and understanding success, and sharing the secrets with other businesses.

And that approach might just help a few more small businesses grow into successful businesses and, ultimately, big businesses. And that’s a success New Zealanders could all be proud of.

Business Is Booming screens on TV One on Saturday mornings at 8am and is repeated on Tuesday nights at 11.30pm. The first episode screened on Saturday, July 8 and is set for repeat Tuesday, July 11.

Business Is Booming is an independently produced business show with support from Inland Revenue. The department’s people, and its online and phone-line resources, will provide invaluable back up for information featured. Many associated government & industry bodies, such as the Minister for Small Business, NZT&E and NZICA have also expressed their support for the concept.


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