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Canterbury business gets additional boost

Hon Gerry Brownlee
Minister for Economic Development

29 November 2010 Media Statement

Canterbury business gets additional boost

Earthquake recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee today announced a package of new measures to assist Canterbury business in the wake of the September 4 earthquake.

Over half a million dollars has been set aside to provide support.

“The best way for the city to recover is to restore the pre-quake flows of traffic – getting the street barriers down, is the best way to get commerce back on its feet,” Mr Brownlee said.

“Numerous businesses have relocated and changed their business model to sustain their business.

“The government is funding expertise, mentoring and advice that will help businesses adapt to the conditions and problems caused by earthquake damage.”

Two full time business recovery co-ordinators will be appointed for Christchurch, and a part time co-ordinator will support the Kaiapoi business community. They will operate alongside the new Regional Partnership Programme, and use the programme’s eligibility criteria, amended to include earthquake-affected businesses.

Business Mentors New Zealand services will be supported by an additional part time administrator.

Mr Brownlee said promotional activities were also urgently needed.

“Christchurch and Kaiapoi will share $100,000 funding for promotional and marketing activities to attract customers back into their shopping areas.

“This is particularly important during the lead up to Christmas and as the tourist season gets underway.”

The government’s immediate response was to fund through the Earthquake Subsidy scheme, a package which allowed small business to pay their staff, while reorganising.

To date, the government has contributed over $12 million to assist businesses in Canterbury through a variety of measures.

The following assistance measures have already been funded in Canterbury:

• Earthquake Subsidy Scheme (ESS) to help businesses pay wages (funded by Work and Income up to $12.5 million);
• Recovery workshops to train business people in methods to help them recover from the effects of the earthquake (funded by NZTE up to $100,000);
• Business Mentors to work on a face-to-face basis with individual business owners (registration fee funded by NZTE);
• A report on the economic impact on key industries and sectors and potential growth scenarios (funded by NZTE up to $30,000);

New measures:

• Over half a million dollars for business support, including:
• Two full-time and one part-time business recovery coordinators for Christchurch and Kaiapoi;
• $100,000 shared funding for promotional and marketing campaigns for Christchurch and Kaiapoi;
• Further support for business mentors.

Mr Brownlee said he was confident the Canterbury economy would recover strongly as insurance payouts begin to flow and rebuilding gets underway.

“This interim support will allow business to ride out the worst and be ready for the upside.”

© Scoop Media

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