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Boost for business and regions from Industry NZ

Businesses and regions are being urged to seize the opportunity created today with the launch of the first Industry New Zealand partnership programmes.

Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton launched the 'Partnership for Growth' programmes today at innovative Lower Hutt business Cloud 9. The three initiatives are:

1. A Regional Partnerships Programme which will deliver grants to regions of up to $100,000 to develop plans and initiatives to make the most of their unique strengths and competitive advantages. Up to $2 million per region will be made available to implement regional strategies and initiatives.

2. An Enterprise Awards scheme which offers financial support of up to $10,000 to innovative entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them test and develop concepts with strong growth potential.

3. An Investment Ready Scheme which will deliver skills training and assistance to business and entrepreneurs seeking finance and venture capital for innovative concepts.

Jim Anderton said the economic development programmes are designed to achieve higher levels of growth and boost the regions.

"For the last decade, regions and businesses have been working on strategies and plans for development. Central Government has been the missing player. Well now we're not missing any more.

"Today is the beginning of our partnership with communities and industry to transform the economy. To develop new jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders by investing in industries and regions. We're taking a ground-up approach designed to unlock the potential of regions."

The Ministry of Economic Development is establishing and managing the programmes on behalf of Industry New Zealand until it is formally established in September.

Business and regions can apply for full details about all programmes, including simple application details, on 0800 4BIZINFO.

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