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New Podcast Launches To Support NZ Small Businesses During Covid-19 Lockdown

When the country went into lockdown just two weeks ago, Grace Kreft thought her dreams of starting a business podcast would need to be put on pause.

Pep Talk, recorded remotely with guests in their own lockdown 'bubbles', aims to celebrate and support local New Zealand businesses, and inspire and educate listeners on entrepreneurship. Kreft is quick to point out the podcast is not all 'doom and gloom'. While Pep Talk touches on the impact of Covid-19 on business, overall the podcast is positive - focussing on how the public can support local businesses during this time.

“I had the idea to start a business podcast, so I spontaneously ordered a microphone online, just before the lockdown kicked in. Then when we went into lockdown, I put the idea aside, thinking it would never arrive during lockdown. Then out of the blue, my husband walks in with a courier parcel - it had arrived! I took that as a 'sign' - it has to happen now, I can't ignore a sign like that!”

After the serendipitous arrival of her microphone, Kreft kicked straight into action, launching the podcast in just two short weeks. Setting up recording software, hosting services, designing the website, lining up guests and recording the first two episodes were just some of the many steps needed to bring Pep Talk to life.

“It was fairly hectic getting it off the ground so quickly,” Kreft admits. “I've never done anything like this before, so it was a steep learning curve. But I was driven by wanting to get this positive and inspiring content out into the world during the lockdown and support local businesses during this tough time - if I waited too long, the lockdown would be over!”

The show's first episode launched on Good Friday, talking with Wellington dance class business 'Shut Up & Dance'. Kreft explains, “I chose Abby, Lesa & Clair from 'Shut Up & Dance' for my first episode, as I knew their story would be so inspiring for New Zealanders to hear right now. The girls are also packed with energy and enthusiasm, I knew it would be an uplifting start to the show. After all – it is called Pep Talk!”

Kreft's background gives her the basis to authentically and generously talk with guests as host. An ex-lawyer and former owner of Wellington bakery and cake shop Sweet Bakery & Cakery, which Kreft sold 1.5 years ago to move to the Wairarapa with her young family, Kreft now works as the Marketing Manager for Wellington-based beverage producer Six Barrel Soda Co.

Hundreds of downloads over the Easter long weekend has seen Pep Talk off to a strong start. Five star reviews on Apple Podcasts and early feedback from listeners indicate Kreft is hitting the spot. As an early listener review says, “So refreshing to hear about cool stuff that people are up to and how they're coping in this strange new climate.”

The second episode of the Pep Talk Podcast launches today, with twice-weekly episodes to follow.

About the Pep Talk Podcast

Created by Grace Kreft in April 2020, Pep Talk is a new podcast based in New Zealand, celebrating and supporting local business during the Covid-19 crisis of 2020.

Weekly episodes see Kreft interview small and medium New Zealand businesses, to hear the stories behind the brands, the ups and downs along the way, and the impact Covid-19 has had on business.

Find out more at

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