A further $25 million in grants have been announced to aid the recovery of businesses in cyclone-affected regions.
The investment follows an initial $25 million emergency package announced in February, which also included business support and advice services.
Finance Minister, Grant Robertson said the extension of funding would provide help to more businesses whose operations had been severely disrupted by the flooding and cyclone and help address their immediate cashflow needs.
“As more is known about the scale of the cyclone damage, it is important that the local agencies on the ground working with affected businesses have the financial support to deal with the most pressing needs in their regions,” Mr Robertson said.
“The uptake of grants has been strong. For example, in Tairāwhiti 372 applications for business support have been approved with $4.1 million paid out.
“Based on the applications to date, it is clear that the initial $25 million business support package announced in late February is likely to be oversubscribed. Ministers will ensure that support will be targeted at those regions where the need is greatest.
“The extension of funding would not change the current settings or intent of the grants, but would allow more firms to be supported up to the $40,000 per-business cap.
“We are committed to helping people and businesses recover from the cyclone. We will continue to closely monitor the needs of local communities and work with local agencies, iwi and councils as the regions move to recovery and rebuild from these extreme weather events.
“This work will include exploring further support for larger affected firms, drawing on lessons learned from COVID-19. It will also be informed by the Cyclone Recovery Taskforce, whose role is to advise on recovery priorities and the planning and sequencing of recovery efforts,” the Minister said.
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
- Masterton District Council.