Rotorua's Secret Spot 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.
Secret Spot is one of the first winners announced and have had a television advertisement featuring Māori All Blacks squeezing into a bathtub made, as well as a digital billboard erected on Lake Rd.
Secret Spot owners Keith and Eric Kolver said, like many Kiwis, they were big rugby fans.
"As a new business that started in late 2019, it's been an interesting year, to say the least. We've loved getting the word out on Secret Spot and what a blast to have the All Blacks, Māori All Blacks, Black Ferns promote us," Eric said.
"When you come to Secret Spot it has a real Kiwi vibe – hot tubs and a beer in the forest, perfect after a day's adventure. What could be more Kiwi than being associated with New Zealand's game and team?
The brothers started planning the venture six years ago before five years dealing with the "necessary red tape", then designing, building and planting.
"When we opened we knew we had a great concept, but it still had to be proven. The word spread during the first summer and we were just getting our heads above water when Covid hit.
"Pretty unnerving, and while the wage subsidy was an absolute lifeline for us, it was still a very costly time for us.
"We are pleased to say that we retained our staff, and opened after lockdown with normal operating hours. The domestic response was fantastic and with the colder weather over winter a lot of Kiwis found their way to us."
He said being chosen as a winner was a valuable morale boost.
"It's nice to know that someone has your back. In fact we've been really humbled by the support from the wider community, we loved hearing them say how they were so glad we were still going strong after Covid."
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 $2 billion 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.