Northland businesses are stepping up to help their fellow entrepreneurs by setting up online directories to help them thrive in tough Covid-19 conditions.

Stefanie Schollum and Anne Lensink have set up online web directories to boost Northland businesses after dozens of them turned to social media in a flurry of excitement to let customers know how they would operate at level 3.

Schollum, a website developer and director of Social Paihia, was scrolling through her Facebook feed when it was announced New Zealand would move out of lockdown on Tuesday.

"I was seeing heaps of businesses putting up posts on local community pages saying this is what they're doing under level 3. There were so many posts, I thought there needs to be an easy way for people to look at them all in one place."

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Schollum said the website gives local businesses a chance to be "easily seen".

It's free for businesses to list their services and locals can click on individual towns within Northland to find out what phone, online and delivery options they offer.

It's important for the community to look out for each other at this time, the Waimate North resident said.

"It's about supporting small local businesses that don't have that really big exposure and support nationwide."

Under level 3, shops, cafes and restaurants can open for online or phone purchases, along with contactless delivery and click and collect.

Food deliveries, drive-through services and takeaway coffee are allowed, but they must also be contactless until at least May 11 when the Government will decide whether to move to level 2.

Anne Lensink from Villa Chartered Accountants, created I Am A Northland Business, an online directory to help Northland businesses succeed no matter what is thrown at them. Photo / supplied
Anne Lensink from Villa Chartered Accountants, created I Am A Northland Business, an online directory to help Northland businesses succeed no matter what is thrown at them. Photo / supplied

Lensink, director of Whangarei-based accountancy firm, Villa Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, created I Am A Northland Business, an online directory to help Northland businesses succeed no matter what is thrown at them.

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The initiative is fully funded by Villa and is free of charge.

"Over the past few months, we have seen many of our clients struggling with the restrictions placed on their businesses," she said.

"We want to encourage Northland locals to search and buy local.

"We are all guilty of opting for the easy purchasing option, by choosing big box retailers or overseas suppliers. It's time to rally together and first search local businesses to purchase from. There are so many impressive services available right here on our doorstep."

NorthTec business pathway manager Dan Clark said it was great to see Northland businesses working together to keep their custom flowing through the pandemic.

"It's a tough time to be in business, so these online and social media initiatives are an excellent way of supporting their own company and other local businesses.

"They're also good for customers as they bring together those companies which are available online onto one platform, making it easy to access their services."

Schollum is now looking to list businesses in Kawakawa and Moerewa, Kaikohe, Hokianga and Paihia. Email info@northlandvendors.co.nz
I Am a Northland Business is here: villaca.co.nz/local-business-directory

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