The Canterbury Business Association says up to 30 businesses have been impacted by the terrorist attack on two local mosques on Friday.
Taz Mukorombindo, president of the Canterbury & New Zealand Business Association, said the organisation was supporting victims and families of victims who were sole traders or ran businesses in the area.
Businesses and sole traders effected include self-employed painters, restaurant and food truck owners and market operators from the refugee community.
The association is looking to provide $10,000 in financial assistance to each of the victims or family of victims to assist with rent, overheads and other expenses. It hopes to distribute funds within the next three weeks.
Mukorombindo hopes local area MP Duncan Webb will be able to secure funds from Government to help cover expenses, otherwise the association will use crowdfunded donations it has received through its Givealittle page.
It has also approached charity Victims Support for financial assistance.
Many businesses and schools resumed as normal yesterday but there were still a large number of people impacted either directly or by a lost or injured family member or friend who were unable to go back to work, he said.
"At the moment, I'm primarily spending a lot of my time offering emotional support," Mukorombindo said. "[But] we're looking to raise around $320,000 - that will provide on going support for people to re-establish their businesses and we're also looking at running workshops."
Mukorombindo said the association would operate the same model it did following the Christchurch earthquakes in 2011. It would provide accounting help, workshops, mentoring, social media management and marketing tips to help re-establish or continue the running of businesses, he said.
"In this case, we think counselling and covering overheads will be quite important, and ongoing mentoring. Beyond direct impact support is how we can rally the community together around supporting refugee and migrant employment and businesses."
Before a gunman opened fired on Linwood and Al Noor mosques, killing children, teenagers, men and women, the association was in the process of developing its own accounting software to help migrant business owners reduce compliance issues.
Mukorombindo said he hopes to raise additional capital to complete this as soon as possible so it can be rolled out to businesses sooner than planned.
Christchurch businesses have been generous in the wake of the terror attack. Many businesses have donated their profits from trade over the weekend to victims and their families, others have donated food and coffee to victims and emergency service workers.
Local florist Ginny Fagan made 50 bouquets in memory of each of the victims of the shooting, from flowers donated from commercial growers and people's gardens.
Other people had donated food and home baking, offered accommodation for people coming into Christchurch and a general helping hand for victims, families and emergency service staff, he said.
Combined, Kiwis have raised more than $7 million for victims and their families.