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Monday 27 July, 2020
The $40 million funding extension announced for the Regional Business Partner (RBP) Network will make a tremendous difference for Mid Canterbury businesses as they navigate the post-COVID-19 environment, Ashburton District Mayor Neil Brown says.
Mayor Brown chairs the district's COVID-19 Economic Recovery Advisory Committee and is relieved that more funding is being invested to ensure local businesses can access the professional services and support they need.
"COVID-19 has thrust us into the unknown and much of our recovery will rely on businesses being able to adapt and build their capabilities for a changing environment. We can't hope to achieve that without ensuring businesses can turn to the right providers for the right advice when they need it."
Earlier this month (14 July) the Government announced the national business support service, which is jointly funded by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and Callaghan Innovation will receive $37.25 million to directly fund professional advisory services and $2.75 million to increase resourcing within the RBP Network. This is in addition to the $15 million invested in March.
The Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce (The Chamber) is one of the Regional Partners for Canterbury. Their specialist Growth Advisors help businesses to identify opportunities and can also connect them with the right training, workshops and mentoring programmes from expert providers.
Chamber Chief Executive Leeann Watson says the funding will be invaluable to helping more businesses find the support they need to reposition and recover.
"We have already seen a significant increase in the number of businesses accessing the RBP support as a direct result of COVID-19, so this additional funding will help ensure we have the resources to help those who may not have reached out for support yet.
"Trusted advice will be crucial to business survival and success in this 'new normal' environment we are now operating in, and this is particularly so for small businesses," she says.
Ms Watson is also encouraging local businesses to think about their long-term sustainability.
"It's vital that business owners and managers ask for support when they need it, and that doesn't just mean when they are struggling. Now is also the time to try and plan ahead so that you are prepared and can capitalise on new opportunities."
Funded COVID-19 support via the RBP Network is available to eligible Mid Canterbury businesses where they can access expert advice on human resources, employee relations and legal; financial and cashflow management; health and wellness; business continuity planning; marketing strategy; and digital enablement strategy.
To access COVID-19 support via the RBP Network, contact the region's RBP Advisor, Jason MacRae at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information about support services available for businesses, contact the Ashburton District Council Economic Development team at email@example.com.