A Whanganui recruitment agency owner says the Covid-19 pandemic has led to some of her clients opting to relocate to Whanganui rather than seeking opportunities elsewhere.
Louise Bird, who launched Outsourced Temp Agency in January this year, said she has been busier post-lockdown than earlier in the year.
"Things are tracking well and what I'm finding is I've got some very highly skilled people registering with me.
"They have moved back here because they can't further their career overseas as planned and also because they're seeing the benefits of living provincially where they can afford to buy a home."
Some have family in Whanganui and that, as well as the cost of living and reduced opportunities in places like Auckland, has prompted them to relocate.
During lockdown, Bird refined her business model and is now concentrating on skilled administration work.
"That's my niche and that's where I'm finding that there's enough demand to sustain what I want to be doing.
"I'm not trying to be all things to all people and that seems to be working both ways in terms of the clients that are approaching me or that I'm approaching directly and also the skilled administrators that are registering with me. I'm having no trouble recruiting highly skilled staff, that's for sure."
Bird has been recruiting for permanent placements as well as temporary staff.
"I'm a sole trader so I'm conscious that with each client, especially the permanent placements, I need to give them the time and energy that recruitment deserves. So for me, as a sole trader, I'm certainly busy enough.
"If you were talking to me as a business owner with six staff I think I'd have something completely different to say."
Bird said she was feeling positive about Whanganui and where her business is headed.
"I'm feeling that our economy's fairly robust at the moment and I guess because we're not overly reliant on the tourism sector we're in a pretty good position, I think, to ride it out.
"And businesses seem to be fairly positive in terms of their business confidence as well, anecdotally from clients I talk to. They are positive with their industries whether it's real estate or accountancy, construction – across the board there seems to be fairly positive feedback coming in."