Budding entrepreneurs are discovering the magic of markets, using the platform to launch new brands to locals who are keener to buy homegrown wares than ever before.
The demand for locally-made goods, as well as growing interest for stalls since the March lockdown, has even led to one market increasing its frequency to match demand.
Little Big Markets, which was established 11 years ago during the Global Financial Crisis, is gearing up for a big summer.
Organiser Rachelle Duffy said there had been an increase in vendor interest but was hesitant to attribute that solely to the effects of Covid-19.
"We are always busy around this time of year, we have about 150 vendors so we're quite big. What we are noticing though is a definite increase in people wanting to shop locally.
"We were doing the Little Big Markets once a month at the Mount, then the third Saturday of each month at Papamoa but this year we have changed that to being every weekend up until the end of January because of the massive influx of people wanting to buy local artisan, rather than go to the shopping malls which is all big corporations.
"We are seeing an influx of people starting small businesses or continuing on with their small business because they were made redundant but it's hard to tell how much of that influx is because of Covid and how much is because summer is our busiest time."
Duffy said shopping local had been the market's mantra since it started but Covid-19 had brought more awareness of the importance of supporting local small businesses.
"What we can see reactively since Covid is people are spending way more money locally and we are way busier in terms of customers because people are happy to be able to do what we're doing in New Zealand, in this paradise where we're not in lockdown anymore."
She said the market was an "incubator space" for new businesses and she had seen vendors go on to open new stores because of the popularity grown at the market.
Rotorua Lakes Council's arts & culture, markets and festival manager Brigitte Nelson said the markets had supported many start-ups in the city.
"The Rotorua Night Market offers a ready-made audience for start-ups to test ideas and become confident in a range of skills they need to develop to progress their businesses.
"We support them with menu development, presentation, marketing, health and safety planning and much more.
"There have been many businesses that started at the Night Market and now have their own premises and continue to return to trade at the Night Market because they love it."
She said Rotorua markets had experienced an influx of inquiries interested in trading since lockdown.
"People are diversifying and getting creative to find new income streams for themselves.
"We have really focused on including new Rotorua based stallholders at the Night Market to support the local community and ensure a good range of products on offer."
Nelson said stallholders at both the Rotorua Farmers' Market and Night Market were feeling the pressure with the lack of international visitors but "the holiday periods have seen bigger crowds than ever before as New Zealanders explore their own backyard".
"We have done a big push to increase stallholders at the Sunday Farmers' Market now that we are in peak season for fresh produce."
She said demand from stallholders had been such that the Night Market was fully booked over the summer months and the Farmers' Market was nearing capacity.
"We are hoping for big customer numbers throughout the summer with national travel and good weather forecast.
"After the isolation of lockdown, the markets have become more important than ever to be a community meeting place. Both markets offer live music which adds to the great vibe while shopping, dining and catching up with friends and whānau."
Richelle Berryman is one of the stallholders using the Rotorua Farmers' Market to get her new business Wild and Dry under the noses of local customers.
She said the market had helped to get local awareness and had attracted other businesses that wanted to help her.
"The local support has been great, particularly from other businesses like Artisan Cafe, Envy and The Appearance Clinic.
"The markets have really helped boost my own confidence and knowledge and people seem to like what I'm doing so it's encouraging to keep going."
Wild and Dry specialises in creating designs out of dried flowers. Berryman decided during lockdown to share her floristry passion with others.
"My husband and I own Lakes Lodge Okataina and it has always been very full on, your weekends were always gone so over lockdown I started wondering what I was going to do.
"I found a floristry course in Hamilton and thought it would fit me well as I have always had a passion for horticulture, gardening and flowers.
"The course was great but I knew straight away that I didn't want to work in a floristry shop so I started playing around with dried floral arrangements, making different sized wreaths and table displays.
"It got to the point where my house was so full of these creations that I decided I had to share it.
"I set up a Facebook and Instagram page and that was all well and good but social media can only get you so far and locals didn't know who I was.
"That's where the market really came into play. It's definitely a slow burn and I think those who go to multiple markets have more luck establishing a good customer base but it has been beneficial.
"There are lots of cool, creative people in this town, it would be great if the markets expanded so there was more on offer and attracted more people, particularly the Sunday market."