The Government says $25 million in grants will help businesses in cyclone-affected regions to clean up and get back on their feet.
The grants are part of the initial $50 million emergency package agreed by Cabinet last week.
“Our priority is to get this initial emergency support out as quickly as possible. Those who are on the ground in communities know best how to do that. The Government has established agreements with local delivery partners to make it happen,” said Finance Minister, Grant Robertson.
“Each local agency will have their own processes, but the Government has provided the funding to address the immediate cashflow needs of businesses. This includes those that have been impacted due to barriers to customer access, ability to source stock, supply chain issues, inability to operate as usual due to physical damage to equipment or premises, or delays in insurance assessment and repairs.”
The Minister aid the initial allocation from the fund will be capped at $40,000 per business while the overall demand for the fund is assessed. Further allocations to businesses who access this initial funding are possible, he said.
“It’s important to note that this is only the first stage of government support for affected businesses and communities. We are working closely with communities to assess needs and expect to make further announcements in the coming days and weeks.”
“We are also aware that there are larger businesses who are facing costs that go beyond what this initial emergency funding could support. We will be working one on one with these businesses to understand their needs and how we can support them,” Mr Robertson said.
Along with the grants scheme, $250,000 will be provided for the Employers and Manufacturers’ Association to extend the reach of its employer helpline and $600,000 for the Regional Business Partners to increase the amount of business advice they can offer.
The First Steps mental wellbeing initiative is available for use by businesses in affected regions. The costs of this are covered by the recent funding injection after the Auckland floods. The Government will keep a close eye on this and stands ready to assist further if necessary.
“As we work swiftly in this response not every community and business is going to have the same needs. It makes sense that those providing the support have their boots on the ground and are part of the communities they are serving,” said Regional Development Minister, Kiri Allan.
“Through this package our local delivery partners will be using their grassroots knowledge and robust networks to tell us what they need, to ensure the funding is being distributed in the best way possible to meet the needs of their communities.”
The agencies distributing the business support grants will be:
- Auckland Business Chamber
- Toi Economic Development Agency
- Thames Coromandel District Council
- Trust Tairāwhiti
- Hawkes Bay Chamber of Commerce
- Tararua District Council.
More information on the business support is available here.