Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Pandemic funding boost for Pacific businesses

Pacific businesses will get a financial boost as they recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the new Pacific Aotearoa Regional Enterprise Fund, Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said today.

He said the new $2 million fund will co-invest in Pacific business projects and initiatives to create jobs, increase productivity and stimulate growth in the regions.

“These direct investments aim to quickly provide existing Pacific regional businesses with capital to increase productivity and participation in regional economic development initiatives.”

“It will also help scale up businesses to transition, diversify and participate in sectors crucial for the recovery and rebuild of the economy,” Minister Sio said.

The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit will transfer $2 million to the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) for the fund. 

Minister Sio says thanks to MPP’s existing relationships within the Pacific business community, it is in a strong position to engage and help increase uptake in Government support. 

“Kānoa – REDIU and MPP will work together to invest in Pacific business projects and activities in the regions through the new Fund,” he said.

“Pacific peoples continue to experience inequitable socio-economic outcomes compared to other population groups in New Zealand.

“The economic inequities highlight the exposure of Pacific peoples to the impacts of events such as the pandemic, leading to high unemployment, poverty and poor health outcomes that continue to reinforce cycles of intergenerational inequality.

“Pacific peoples have very low rates in terms of business ownership, or self-employment compared to other population groups.

“The delivery of the funding grants will help to address some of the economic inequities experienced by Pacific peoples and support regional Pacific businesses to access investments to accelerate development and activities at the core to recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.”

Visit the MPP website for more information on the Pacific Aotearoa Regional Enterprise Fund and to apply.

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