The re-emergence of community transmission of COVID-19 has seen Auckland shift back to Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand to Level 2. Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can access business advisory services through DWC and the Regional Business Partner (RBP) network.

Capability and Growth Manager Fiona Hill, who looks after the RBP programme for the West Coast, says DWC has been supporting West Coast enterprises at unprecedented levels since New Zealand entered lockdown.

“Through the COVID-19 business advisory fund, DWC can connect firms to expert advice at no cost to the business. Advice covers topics like business strategy, finance and cash flow, continuity planning, HR and employment relations, marketing and digital enablement strategies, and health and wellness for owners and staff. There is also additional support available for tourism businesses through the Tourism Transition Fund.”

To date, over 100 West Coast businesses have accessed COVID-19 advisory support through the RBP network, including Porky’s Takeaways.

Sonya Matthews and Andrew Lyes took over Hokitika’s iconic Porky’s Takeaways business in September 2019.

“After a manic six and a half months working in the business, a near vertical learning curve, the borders closed and the country went into lockdown due to COVID-19,” Sonya says.

“It was almost heart attack material. Having caught up on sleep, talked with our team and taken stock we hit the phone and with one of the first calls struck gold! We rang Fiona at DWC and asked her about business coaching options.”

Through the RBP network, Sonya accessed one-on-one business coaching sessions with James O’Connell from the Hospitality Company.

“We are blown away with how far we’ve come and what we’ve navigated; we are totally inspired with where we are headed; we are excited to have started building that best practice business we're striving for and we will be eternally grateful for the incredible opportunity and support DWC has enabled for us via the RBP network. So many post-COVID silver linings to be thankful for,” says Sonya.

The Rainforest Retreat in Franz Josef is another West Coast business to benefit from COVID-19 advisory support.

"Thank you to Ian and DWC with their help and support through this trying times," says Oscar Morgan General Manager of the Rainforest Retreat.

"It is great to know that there is an organisation out there that has our back. The funding we were given has given us the opportunity to source much needed services we would have otherwise struggled to pay for. I hope all business on the coast that are currently finding it tough are able to make the most of this fantastic resource. I’m sure Ian will be more than happy to offer assistance as to how the funding can best be used to suit your business."

West Coast businesses impacted by COVID-19 looking to access advisory funding should first register their business on the RBP network. If you have already done this, contact DWC for more information.

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2020 08 18 Porkys townchip