A local business is getting a helping hand as it continues to rise from the ashes after an extremely tough year in 2020.
ASB has reviewed nearly 2000 entries to select the 100 small to medium Kiwi businesses that will get a share of the bank's New Zealand Rugby sponsorship through the ASB Borrow the All Blacks campaign.
ASB has chosen to share its biggest sponsorship asset with 100 Kiwi businesses to provide practical help to business customers in need of a boost in these challenging times.
One of these many businesses is locally-based NZ Crayons Ltd.
Chief crayon officer Kevin Atkinson said they were delighted when they found out they were one of the selected businesses.
"You can't buy something like this. To be associated with a brand like the All Blacks is out of reach for small businesses, and it lends credibility to our business and products."
He said few people in New Zealand knew that crayons were made in New Zealand, and this was an opportunity to reach more people than their small business marketing budget could do.
The year 2020 was also an extremely tough one for the business.
Not only were they affected due to Covid, but an overnight fire in November 2020 due to an electrical fault burnt their entire building to the ground.
Atkinson said he and his wife had lived on the same premises as the factory.
"I heard a banging noise and saw a flash of light. I thought at first someone was breaking in but it was a fire."
He said with many tonnes of wax inside, the fire spread quickly and the only thing he got out of the blaze was his laptop.
"We had to start again from scratch, I've had two of my machines repaired which took a couple months to do and we had to relocate to a factory in Kawerau."
Atkinson said although they were affected during the Covid lockdown due to businesses being closed, they did gain a contract from a supplier to the Ministry of Education who bought crayons to add to school packs being sent to homes.
NZ Crayons Ltd consisted of Retsol crayons for children's crayons and Spectrum crayons for industries, and were made to environmental protection agency standards, he said.
ASB's executive general manager of Business Banking, Tim Deane, says the campaign is an innovative way the bank can lend a hand beyond financial aspects.
"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.
"We're gifting them a slice of our most valuable sponsorship asset by creating a tailored advertising package for each of the 100 selected businesses featuring either the All Blacks, the Māori All Blacks or the Black Ferns."
Deane said when the campaign launched in July 2020, entries poured in from every corner of New Zealand.
ASB Borrow the All Blacks sits alongside a range of ASB initiatives aimed at helping small businesses through Covid-19. Visit the ASB Business Hub at https://businesshub.asb.co.nz/ for more information.