Government provides support funds for cyclone impacted businesses
Written by John Grant on February 26, 2023
A $25 million grant allocation to help businesses in cyclone-affected regions to clean up and get back on their feet is a welcome boost to the Coromandel. “We really want to thank the government for listening to us as we shared what our business communities are going through, and addressing some very painful economic hurt,” says our Mayor Len Salt.
“Between Cyclone Hale and Gabrielle, we’ve hosted Minister McAnulty, Minister Allan and Minister Wood who have really understood the magnitude of these events on our local economy.
“We acknowledge other regions that have been worse hit in many ways, and the distribution of this funding will reflect that in the allocation. The collapse of our roading networks is one of the biggest issues for us, and those connectivity links have a huge impact on business productivity,” says Mayor Len Salt.
Our Council has been tasked with disbursal of funds for our area, and we’re currently working through the process of how that will be actioned. “There will be collaboration and input from our Business Associations and Industry leads around our district as part of this process, which we’ll be working through over the next few days,” says Mayor Len Salt.
In the past week our Chief Executive Aileen Lawrie, our Economic Development Team, elected members and Economic Development & Communications Group Manager, Laurna White, attended the Thames, Mercury Bay and Whangamatā Business Association and the feedback from these local communities was extremely valuable and will help with decisions around the allocation of funds. We’ve also been running a business impact survey, and this data and evidence will also contribute to the decision making.
Details of the government’s assistance package:
• $25 million to help businesses meet immediate costs, and to further assist with clean-up and boost business support and advice services
• Initial grants up to a maximum of $40,000 per business, to be distributed by local organisations in affected regions
• Support for Employers and Manufacturers’ Association to extend the reach of its employer helpline
• Regional Business Partners funding boosted to increase the amount of business advice they can offer
• Government to provide more support once further assessments are made “Each local agency will have their own processes, but the Government has provided the funding to address the immediate cashflow needs of businesses. This includes those that have been impacted due to barriers to customer access, ability to source stock, supply chain issues, inability to operate as usual due to physical damage to equipment or premises, or delays in insurance assessment and repairs. “The initial allocation from this fund will be capped at $40,000 per business while we assess the overall demand for the fund. Further allocations to businesses who access this initial funding are possible.
Along with the grants scheme, $250,000 will be provided for the Employers and Manufacturers’ Association to extend the reach of its employer helpline and $600,000 for the Regional Business Partners to increase the amount of business advice they can offer.
The First Steps mental wellbeing initiative is available for use by businesses in affected regions. The costs of this are covered by the recent funding injection after the Auckland floods. The Government will keep a close eye on this and stands ready to assist further if necessary.
Today’s announcement adds to the $25 million in support that is already going out the door to our farmers and growers and Friday’s announcement of a new recovery visa to help bring in more workers to help with the recovery.
More information on the business support is available here.
The agencies distributing the business support grants will be:
• Northland Inc
• Auckland Business Chamber
• Toi Economic Development Agency
• Thames Coromandel District Council
• Trust Tairāwhiti
• Hawkes Bay Chamber of Commerce
• Tararua District Council