Tauranga's Authentic Oven has received a post lockdown boost from some of New Zealand's best rugby players.
ASB has launched a campaign called Borrow the All Blacks in which it is choosing 100 small and medium-sized businesses from throughout New Zealand to create video and advertising packages for, featuring players from the All Blacks, Māori All Blacks and Black Ferns teams.
Cooking equipment manufacturer Authentic Oven was one of the first winners announced and had a television advertisement, featuring All Blacks players digging in to some pizza, made, as well as a bus shelter advertisement on Taurikura Drive.
Authentic Oven owners Gareth and Anna Wing said they saw the competition as a good way to spread the word about their business post lockdown.
"We were super excited to hear that we were the winners and that our name and brand would receive this awesome advertising. Very awesome for a family-owned business in Tauranga."
As sports fans it was an exciting prize to win - they even have a famous former All Black customer.
"We are definitely fans of all New Zealand sport and have two young boys who are very excited to start playing rugby for the first time in term four. One of our staff is very passionate about rugby and he's all over this.
"We have also had a lot to do with Sir John Kirwan as he has some of our products including a pizza oven in Auckland and a new Authentic Grill at his newly-built bach in Waihi."
They said Covid-19 had an "interesting" effect on business.
"We've had some positives and some negatives. We have certainly had trouble sourcing specific products we always stock and have had to change the way we do a few things.
"On the plus side we have noticed families are wanting to make their outdoor areas lovely for summer as they are spending much more time at home with family. People seem to be doing lots of home improvements at the moment and including our products which in turn has allowed us to hire more skilled staff and grow our business."
ASB reviewed nearly 2000 entries to select the 100 winners of the Borrow the All Blacks campaign.
ASB executive general manager of business banking Tim Deane said the campaign was an innovative way for the bank to lend a hand beyond the financial.
"ASB has already provided more than $3.3 billion dollars of principal relief, $180 million in low interest overdrafts and $2b in loan repayment deferrals to business banking customers on top of the Government scheme - but more debt is not always the right answer.
"Borrow the All Blacks is our way of lending more than just money to hardworking SMEs who are the very backbone of New Zealand's economy."
Deane said when the campaign launched in July, entries poured in from every corner of New Zealand, from Northland to Invercargill and across to the Chatham Islands.
Applicants ranged from beekeepers, unpasteurised milk producers and commercial spirilina growers through to butchers, bakers, fish and chip shop owners and tradies of every kind.