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Cantabrians Urged to Support Businesses in CBD

Cantabrians Urged to Support Businesses in the Central Business District.

Research released today confirms that the majority of Christchurch businesses in the Central Business District (CBD) that initially received red or yellow stickers following the September 4 earthquake are now operational and trading.

The survey conducted by the Canterbury Development Corporation (CDC) as part of its involvement in the Economic Recovery Team, found 86.7 per cent of businesses surveyed are now up and running again.

CDC Workforce Strategy Manager Simon Worthington says the survey results indicate the central city is back in business.

“The businesses surveyed were housed in the worst affected buildings in the central business district and it’s heartening to find more than 86 per cent are trading again,” he says.

“Of those businesses not trading at the time of the survey, 35 per cent intended to begin trading once their building was accessible and another 35 per cent would begin trading in a different building.

“At this stage, none of the businesses not currently trading was intending to wind up the businesses, with 30 per cent having not made a decision at the time of the survey.”

The survey results indicate the payment of wages is still a major issue for businesses affected by the earthquake, with the utilisation of government wage subsidy assistance having risen from 5 per cent of businesses post-earthquake, to 37 per cent currently.

Simon Worthington says the survey has highlighted there is still a number of businesses (18.1 per cent) indicating they will need to relocate.

“Our survey results show there are around 46 businesses that would benefit from some form of intervention, such as financial support to assist with relocation costs. Many businesses have experienced a major downturn or a complete halt of cash flow and may need a small injection of funds, whether a loan or grant, to assist them into alternative premises.”

He says Individual Case Management may help businesses struggling to relocate.

“Many businesses gave the impression they were overwhelmed by the task ahead. They indicated having a case manager to help deal with central and local government departments, insurance companies, structural engineers and property agents would help them get back on their feet faster.”

Another survey finding shows reductions in revenue for city centre businesses is the critical issue requiring some form of assistance to prevent business failure or redundancies in the future.

“Cantabrians are urged to help these businesses by visiting and spending money in the CBD,” says Simon Worthington.

About the survey:

• Research was undertaken by the Canterbury Development Corporation (CDC) as part of its commitment to the Economic Recovery Team in the aftermath of the Darfield Earthquake

• Survey was an outbound telephone survey of Christchurch business located in the Central Business District (CBD)

• Survey was conducted between Monday 4 October and Friday 15 October 2010

• Total of 152 businesses were surveyed, although only 146 surveys were fully completed

• In total 255 buildings within the CBD were classified with red or yellow stickers

• The survey was completed with 152 businesses from the impacted buildings.

ENDS

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