A local startup's Covid crunch story has had a happy ending, which its CEO revealed on Twitter today.

When the Herald caught up with Timely founder Ryan Baker, as the company went into level 4 lockdown, he was fretting about the possible increase in domestic violence, and other pressures facing people not used to working from home.

Then, of course, there was the small that his company provides an online booking service for hairdressers and beauty salons - whose business had just fallen off a cliff.

It was a time of big hair, and bigger problems.


Timely claimed just under half a million from the government's wage subsidy scheme, but it was still touch-and-go.

Now Baker's company has come safely out the other side. He posted today:

"In March we committed to preserving everyone's job @Timely, even though cash was tight and we didn't know what the impact of lock-downs would be. The approach was: for all of us to be affected a little so that none of us had to be affected a lot.

"The team unanimously agreed to defer 20% of their salaries to help achieve this. Many of the team asked if they could do more, so that others could do less. I cried with both worry and pride.

"Knowing their jobs should be safe the team could focus on helping our customers in the beauty industry cope with the lock-downs. The thanks we received for this was resounding. In turn, our customers supported us with their continued business. A virtuous cycle was created.

"With this amazing support from our customers we were able to pay back all staff in June and this month we're hiring again. I'm so proud of the way this group of peeps looked after themselves, each other and our customers.

"The wage relief from the NZ government was also a big help to make this happen. It worked exactly as designed for us, helping us to ride out a drop in revenue without needing to lay off any of our staff.

"@simonsinek's book "Leaders Eat Last" was effectively our playbook for staffing in the face of the COVID-19 lock-downs. I wonder how many jobs globally that Simon's work has saved."


He finished: "Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi."

(With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive.)