ChristchurchNZ has announced a new Business Support Subsidy package to the tune of $200,000 as it looks to help Christchurch businesses with the impacts of COVID-19.
The subsidy offers eligible Christchurch businesses up to $1000 each to seek professional advice to help navigate the economic and resourcing impacts of the outbreak.
The subsidy is being delivered as part of a wider business support package during phase one of a Christchurch Economic Recovery Package.
The $200,000 scheme, fully funded by ChristchurchNZ, will support small to medium sized businesses to access advice in Business Continuity Planning, Finance and Cashflow, Human Resources, and Health and Wellbeing.
To ensure ChristchurchNZ continues to support local wherever possible, advice will be provided by specialist organisations from the Canterbury region only. Joanna Norris, ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive, says it was vital the organisation took immediate action to support local businesses.
‘'Our economic modelling work suggests the outbreak will have significant short and medium-term impact on our city's economy and people,” Norris says. ‘'Good advice and specialist input now can make all the difference.''
As part of the Christchurch Economic Recovery Package, this work will primarily be carried out in the short-term to support businesses suffering from the initial fallout of the crisis.
Norris says ChristchurchNZ was working extremely closely with the Christchurch City Council and partners across the region including the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce to ensure economic recovery was delivered in a sustained, coordinated and confident way.
The subsidy comes after a recent survey by ChristchurchNZ and the Chamber. More than 600 responses from Christchurch businesses confirmed cash flow and resourcing concerns were top of mind, with many also experiencing wellbeing issues. There was growing anxiety about the economic impact COVID-19 would have, and the best course of action for this unprecedented situation, ChristchurchNZ says.
Christchurch-based businesses affected by COVID-19 can apply for the subsidy via the Regional Business Partners Programme – details are available at www.christchurchnz.com. The subsidy will be allocated at the discretion of Business Growth Advisors, who will connect successful applicants with the right professional experts.
The new subsidy is in addition to other support such as the Government's wage subsidy and leave payments, government-backed loans, and funding already made available through the Regional Business Partner network.
Norris says ChristchurchNZ continues to work with the Council and its other trading companies and private sector partners to deliver the Christchurch Economic Recovery Package.
Alongside the business support package, the wider package includes an infrastructure-led Recovery Programme, a Strategic Economic Development Programme, and a Community and Visitor Economy Activation Programme.
"ChristchurchNZ will also be convening a Christchurch Economic Recovery Forum. The forum will be chaired by Christchurch City Council chief executive Dawn Baxendale and will meet regularly to facilitate input from the private and public sector to best inform our response."