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All hands on deck – Waikato business steps up

It’s our job to help businesses connect with the right support services and funds available.

We are in direct communication with Central Government and keeping them informed about how our region is fairing and the unique impact COVID-19 is having on our local economy.

Te Waka is leading the delivery of the Government’s economic support package to Waikato businesses affected by COVID-19 on behalf of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and Regional Business Partners Network.

Waikato business organisations are stepping up to partner in a wider Waikato business recovery response.

Government funding is being used to provide COVID-19 mentoring and support, including on-line response workshops.

Our team is working collaboratively with more than 20 local business groups, Government agencies and community organisations to provide Waikato businesses with advice, mentoring and practical support.

Assessing the need
Local businesses have told us what support they need and where.

Conducted in partnership with tourism organisations, local authority economic development teams and business associations, a survey was completed by 334 businesses when the country was at COVID-19 Level 2. Respondents listed the top five immediate impacts:

• Loss of sales 69 percent
• Reduction of customers 68 percent
• Short-term cashflow 55 percent
• Ongoing financial viability 47 percent
• Staff well-being 40 percent
• Local staff being underutilised at 21 percent

The top three areas where businesses feel they need immediate need for support are finance and cashflow, business continuity planning, and business strategy planning post COVID-19.

We are now working in partnership with local business experts to develop on-line workshop sessions to address these needs. By the time this column goes to print, the first of these sessions will be available.

Meanwhile, through our Regional Business Partner Network, we are using one-to-one remote consultancy and business mentors to help business owners make informed decisions and get access to pastoral support. To access this service, get in touch with us on 07 857 0538.

Our survey identified a possible resource allocation opportunity, with many staff being underutilised. Te Waka is involved in discussions about workforce opportunities across our region, including the possible transfer of talent across sectors.