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Connecting with small business

23 January 2004 Media Statement

Connecting with small business

A national Small Business Day will kick off a series of events to excite and support small business, Minister for Small Business John Tamihere announced today.

The national Small Business Day in Wellington on February 13 would be a launching pad for 23 further small business events around the country from February till May that would celebrate small business and keep the government's finger on the pulse of small businesses, Mr Tamihere said.

The Wellington event will include a public expo celebrating New Zealand small businesses, seminars to help small and medium business grow and succeed, and an address by Prime Minister Helen Clark outlining the Government's vision for small business.

The highlight of the regional events will be "SME Pulse" – a chance for small to medium enterprise owners and businesspeople with ideas they think could be turned into businesses to have a one-on-one discussion with small business experts.

The series will:
- Strengthen communication and relationships between government and small business
- Develop understanding within small business of the government's role in helping small businesses grow
- Explore any issues and barriers to small business growth and performance
- Celebrate small business success
- Reflect the government's commitment to supporting small business

And from January 26 till February 6, 33 ministers and MPs will visit small businesses around the country to meet face-to-face with businesspeople, see the work they are doing, and learn how Government can best help small businesses.

Business to be visited range from a Dunedin boutique beer brewery to a Tauranga kayak manufacturer – even a designer sex gear shop is included in the schedule of visits.

"We want to visit a diverse range of businesses so we can explore the broad spectrum of issues affecting New Zealand businesses," Mr Tamihere said.
Mr Tamihere said the Small Business Day series would have a lasting impact on the direction of government support for and policy regarding small business.

"As a result of this programme the government will review and, where appropriate, current small business-related initiatives. It will also be a great opportunity to celebrate small business achievements and the importance of small business to our economy," Mr Tamihere said.

"As New Zealanders, that's something we don't do often or loudly enough. I want people to be as excited about small business as I am. I want our small business heroes to be celebrated as enthusiastically as we celebrate out sports heroes."

For further information on the small businesses days, or to book a space at these open-to-the-public and free events, visit www.smallbusiness.med.govt.nz

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