By DAVID HILL
There are positive signs local businesses can bounce back quickly from the latest lockdown.
North Canterbury businesses have largely been taking the latest Covid-19 lockdown in their stride, says Enterprise North Canterbury (ENC) business development manager Miles Dalton.
“The general feeling is that businesses are much better prepared this time around, and already know what financial support is available from the Government,” he says.
“Last time we were all thrown into an unprecedented situation and businesses were understandably struggling to make sense of it all on the fly.
“This time, most businesses know what’s available, how to apply and how to manage their business and staff, whether they are required to close or are operating as an essential supplier.”
Support agencies, such as ENC, are also better prepared this time around, Mr Dalton says.
“Across the board, the application processes, eligibility criteria and support pathways have all been thoroughly tried and tested now so it’s all running a bit more smoothly.”
Earlier this year ENC was awarded a commendation from Economic Development New Zealand for the efficient and responsive system it created for responding to more than 900 businesses during the 2020 lockdown.
“This system is always ready to swing back into action,” Mr Dalton says.
Despite dire economic predictions during last year’s lockdown, the Waimakariri economy has fared surprisingly well in the months since.
The latest economic report showing the region’s GDP was up 5.4 percent for the year ended on June 30, ahead of the national growth rate of 4.2%.
“The 2020 lockdown affected North Canterbury less than some other parts of New Zealand largely because we rely less on international tourism,” Mr Dalton says.
“The continued reporting of economic growth shows we are also a resilient and robust community, and this isn’t going to change.”
Businesses requiring information, assistance, advice or support are encouraged to visit the Enterprise North Canterbury website at www.northcanterbury.co.nz, or email email@example.com. Business operators concerned about the viability of their business should contact the Ministry of Social Development at www.msd.govt.nz/.