GOLOCAL

So far more than $100,000 has been dished out to Whanganui businesses to support them in adapting to challenges caused by Covid-19 through the Regional Business Partners programme.

Whanganui and Partners is delivering programme, funded by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, by providing businesses with funding to work one-on-one with specialist advisers on issues like employee relations, health and wellness, business planning, cash flow management, marketing and digital capability.

It says so far 47 businesses in the Whanganui District have had support.

Whanganui & Partners' business growth adviser Tim Easton said the majority of local businesses have been seeking support with business planning, managing cashflow or marketing.

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"The programme has funding that targets issues particular to each business and helps them get the support they need to pivot and adapt to the changing market," Easton said.

"[The advice] is a great complement to the wage subsidy and support from the IRD, which provides relief for short-term drops in revenue. I recommend that businesses take advantage of all the support available to them right now, both for immediate relief and longer-term sustainability."

After the shift into level 2 Whanganui saw a quick return to strong consumer spending, Easton said, but that doesn't mean it was business as usual for many local business owners.

"Most businesses faced weeks of lost revenue during lockdown while many fixed costs remained in place. There are flow-on effects they'll be feeling for a while, and it's important they can get the specific support they need."

Accessing the programme is straightforward and quick, he said.

"Businesses can register online and be having a meeting with a specialist adviser within a week or so. We can also point business owners to mentorships, research and development support and export support."

To register, get in touch with Whanganui & Partners or visit the Regional Business Partners website: regionalbusinesspartners.co.nz