More than 1000 new businesses have started up in Tauranga for the year to the end of June - as an ''explosion of home-based businesses'' hits the city.
Figures released to the Bay of Plenty Times from the Registered Companies Office under the Official Information Act show there were 18,859 businesses with an address in Tauranga to June, 2017 compared to 17,833 the year before.
A spokesperson said the Business Industry Classification, which was not mandatory, indicates the top industries were professional, scientific and technical services, construction and rental, hiring and real estate services.
Priority One projects manager Annie Hill said the jump in businesses meant more career options and greater diversity for the local economy.
That had resulted in more knowledge intensive businesses and "higher salaries and wages being paid in these sectors", she said.
"We are seeing strong growth across a number of sectors including professional services, specialised manufacturing, engineering, health services, technology, construction, retail, distribution/logistics and horticulture sectors."
Business and jobs were now driving economic growth as opposed to the increasing population, she said.
"Confidence continues to be strong for at least the medium term and we are increasingly being seen as a competitive place from which to base a business, so we don't envisage this growth to be slowing down in the short to medium term."
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec said he expected a lot of the new businesses were one-man-bands or micro businesses, with many operating from home.
"We've seen an explosion of home-based businesses, with people using cafes and shared working spaces as they need them rather than signing up for fixed commercial leases or traditional office space."
"The chamber sees a lot of people setting up in business for the first time. Some have moved here specifically for that purpose because they've seen an opportunity; whereas others would probably prefer a traditional job opportunity but can't find that fit."
But starting a successful and profitable business was challenging, he said.
"There are so many things you need to learn and juggle at the same time.
"And while there may be many more options about how you run your business, you still need to get a grip of the basics around having a plan and managing your finances and the people you intend to work with."
Bay of Plenty Chinese Business and Commerce Association president Candy Yan said it had 112 members who had opened businesses across all industries.
"They chose Tauranga to live and do business mainly because of the lifestyle. Tauranga has got potential but it's not too busy yet with a nice environment, friendly people, good schools, and cheaper property prices than Auckland."
Papamoa businesswoman Jess Amos started Paws and Claws on Palm Beach five years ago and two weeks ago launched My Little Monkeys online baby clothes and toys.
She started Paws and Claws as a 16-year-old because she couldn't find a job and has now hired two staff for the dog walking and animal minding service.
Meanwhile she also planned to start selling My Little Monkeys products at the local markets.
"It's pretty exciting but it has been a lot of hard work."
NOW about to launch in Tauranga
A new telecommunications service is set to launch in Tauranga next month.
NOW chief executive Hamish White said the phone and broadband provider already had service hubs in Hawke's Bay, Rotorua and Wellington, and employed more than 70 staff.
The company had identified Tauranga as a key region in its continued expansion into provincial New Zealand, he said.
"Our success to date comes down to getting the basics right and providing good old-fashioned customer service. Small things like answering the phone within a few minutes, and speaking to someone in New Zealand, has gone a long way."
NOW would employ three people, he said.
"We expect the team in Tauranga, and more localised employment opportunities, will grow over time."