Wairoa’s small businesses and retailers provide a raft of vital services and products and it is paramount we look after them in the wake of COVID-19 says Wairoa Mayor Craig Little.
Mr Little is concerned about the future of some of Wairoa’s small businesses and the impact losing even one of them would have on the community.
“The Government has ensured employees are getting a wage subsidy, but it is the business owners who are under even more pressure as their fixed costs continue.
“In Wairoa it could be use it or lose it. If we don’t support our local businesses, they may not survive, and we could lose the convenience of having their products or services available locally.”
Mr Little said Council is working with a range of partners to ensure as many businesses as possible can open their doors post-pandemic.
“We are fortunate our local MP, the Honourable Stuart Nash, is also the Minister of Small Business.
“I have been talking with Stuart and he assures me the Government is well aware of the challenges facing small businesses like those in Wairoa and across the country.
“There are support measures for small and medium-sized businesses in place, including a $3.1 billion tax relief package and funding for $25 million worth of business consultancy support.
“Council has also partnered with Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa Trust, the Post-Settlement Governance Entity, delivering a business wellness initiative, Pākihi Ora, to support Wairoa businesses in the wake of COVID-19.
“Work has included a stocktake with local businesses to examine how they have been impacted and what practical support they need coming out of lockdown and moving through the COVID-19 Alert Levels.
“Predictions are that we will have a new normal moving forward and we have to ensure our business are positioned for these changes and challenges.
“Once it is business as usual it is then important people shop locally. Before you consider buying something from out of town, stop and think, can I get this in town? We need to support our local retailers and shop locally to enable them to be there for us when we need them.
“These businesspeople provide a fantastic service, and because they exist in our district, we are able to access their products and services with ease and convenience.”
There is more information available for small businesses on the covid19.govt.nz page.
Local businesses which need support should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
20 April 2020
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