After five years of decline there is a clear indication the West Coast economy is now on the road to recovery. DWC has prepared an Economic Update for the region using economic indicators from Infometrics and other government statistics to analyse the trends within the West Coast economy. The story revealed within the data shows some very promising signs.
The month of March saw DWC roll out the West Coast Ambassador programme across the region with workshops held in Greymouth, Hokitika, Westport and Franz Josef.
The nationally syndicated Ambassador Programme explores what makes our region such a unique and genuine experience for our visitors.
Presenter Ian Johnson from Sustainable Tourism and Thematic Interpretation NZ says the programme is about consistently exceeding our visitors’ expectations, enabling more intimate connections through the telling of compelling stories, and the delivery of outstanding customer service.
Stephanie attended the Franz Josef workshop saying the programme has “lots of great information about what the Coast has to offer and provides good advice on the skills to use when communicating with visitors.”
Feedback to date is unanimously telling us that “this is a programme anyone in the business of providing services to the public should attend!”
Businesses looking for advice are encouraged to come along to the regular business development clinics DWC are holding up and down the Coast.
The clinics are open to businesses from all sectors, all sizes, and at all stages of development. They are aimed at helping you gain knowledge, connect with the right people and grow your business.
“The West Coast may be the longest region in New Zealand, but that distance should not impede anyone from accessing business services or advice,” says DWC chief executive Chris Mackenzie.
“To make business services more accessible, and to help promote the strong entrepreneurial spirit on the Coast, our three business development managers will be holding regular business development clinics from Karamea to Haast.”
DWC business development manager Fiona Hill says there are various services and forms of assistance available to West Coast businesses.
“The purpose of the clinics is to help facilitate local businesses to build capability, grow and achieve their goals. Whether it is just an initial conversation about a new business idea, or an established business looking to access business assistance, we are here to help.”
Clinics will be held once a week in Greymouth, Hokitika and Westport. Clinics will also be held in areas like Karamea, Punakaiki, Blackball, Reefton, Moana and across South Westland. Keep an eye on the DWC website (www.dwc.org.nz) to see when a clinic will be in an area near you.
Emily Miazga has made a habit of coming first. As an endurance athlete she won the Coast to Coast threetimes. Now her Buller-based business, Em’s Power Cookies, has become the first to get commercially produced hemp protein cookies on the market in New Zealand with supermarket chain Countdown stocking her products nation-wide.
Emily, a Buller District Councillor and graduate of the DWC Leadership & Governance Programme, is passionate about her brand of wholesome tasty energy snacks made from her personal recipes.
“Growing up I loved making healthy and energising cookies that I needed as a sporty kid. I used to bake them for friends, teachers, and later on my colleagues when I became a dietitian. They would always say my cookies were so good I should sell them!”
Emily says.In 2004, Emily shifted to New Zealand from Canadato race the Coast to Coast. She discovered her cookies worked perfectly for the gruelling event. This inspired Emily to combine her nutrition and sports expertise and share her ‘Power Cookies’ with the world.
In the untamed natural wilderness of the West Coast, she found the perfect base for both her lifestyle andbusiness. She runs her cookie wholesaler company from an office at Westport’s Epic Centre.
About two years ago, Emily caught wind that hemp food legislation was in the works, so she wasted no time getting into the kitchen and started developing her product in anticipation. She had always wanted to makea protein cookie, but she did not want to use dairy or soy if possible. As a qualified nutritionist, she calls hemp “nature’s powerfully nutritious superfood.”
When legislative changes were finally made in November, Emily was ready to hit the ground running, and now her hemp protein cookies grace the shelves of around 200 Countdown stores across the country.
To keep up with the ever-increasing demand for her products, Emily approached DWC for assistance.
“DWC’s support has been a game changer for me.They have given me confidence to execute my businesss trategy because they believe in what I am doing.This is really important because being in business can be challenging, so the objective and knowledgeable expertise they offer is invaluable,” she says.
Em’s Power Cookies was a finalist in the 2018 DWC Leading Light Business Excellence Awards, and Emily has been a regular guest speaker at DWC’s Co.Starters Business Start-up and Development Programme in Westport, sharing her insights and experience with budding entrepreneurs.
To learn more about Em’s nutritious and delicious power cookies and bars visit: powercookies.com
In conjunction with New Zealand Trade Enterprise, DWC is offering an opportunity to attend a Succession Planning Workshop on 9 April.
Succession planning is a major issue facing New Zealand businesses with 61% of business owners aged 50 plus. It is estimated 10,000 businesses could change hands in the next five years, yet, many business owners believe their family is not capable of taking over their business.
“Succession planning is essential to help ensure you protect the future of your business, build the value of your business, and provide financial security for family and stakeholders,” says DWC business development manager David Grant.
David says the purpose of the workshop is to make business owners aware of the exit planning bubble that is facing many business owners right now, and the need to set aside time to plan a wealth transfer strategy that will generate the best return for both the owner and the business.
“If you are an owner, operator or manager of a business and are interested in building a plan to secure the future of your business, come along to this free workshop.”