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Checking-in on business wellbeing during lockdown

09 April 2020

It's certainly not the Easter our businesses were expecting on the Coromandel - in the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The loss of Easter trading is a particularly tough financial blow on top of the disruption and uncertainty we're all feeling.

For many business owners, there are still more questions than answers and the feeling is one of being stuck in a wait-and-see mode for news on when restrictions will be lifted.

The Mercury Bay Business Association (MBBA) says mental wellbeing is one of the concerns it has for business owners at this time, and it's something that's important to keep in focus. 

MBBA enlisted Dave Burton from Potential Development for a 'wellbeing outreach', involving calls to just over 100 of its members. 

Mr Burton says they appreciated the check-in:

"Overall, many businesses are, as expected, concerned, but still postive and waiting to see what's next," Mr Burton says.

"Many are voicing their concerns for other businesses, more so than themselves, speaking volumes about what a fantastic community we're part of," Mr Burton says.

"There's also a high level of commitment to staff wellbeing and retention, with many having a positive response to the wage subsidy, offering them a litle space to breathe."

One of the most positive responses to the calls was offers to help fellow businesses with things such as  mentoring, legal and accounting support, health and safety and even job opportunities, he says.

MBBA chairman Milan Lukic says larger busineses were thinking ahead to restart and were keen to contribute to the community.

However, they were also concerned about ongoing infrastructure costs such as rent, interest and insurance, and many felt disappointed no government support has been announced for that.

"Tourism operators see domestic business picking up for the 2020/2021 summer, but see the international market down until the summer of 2021/2022 at least," Mr Lukic says. 

Future for domestic tourism

We are expecting more information from central government in the following weeks about how a post-COVID tourism industry will play an important role in New Zealand's economic recovery.

Destination Coromandel is already talking to our local sector and we will be working with Destination Coromandel and tourism operators about how we can partner with them in the following months.

A word from our Mayor 

"Our thoughts are with our local business owners who have been going through a very difficult time during this lockdown," Mayor Sandra says. "We hope we all come out of this  situation sooner rather than later.

"We need to pull together as we prepare for life post-lockdown and look to rebuild for a different future beyond the immediate impact of COVID-19.

"As a Council, we are doing what we can to support you at this time.

"If you need help, don't hesitate to contact us straight away and I encourage you to get help early, don't wait. Call 07 868 0200 and be put through to our economic development team," Mayor Sandra says. 

"I take my hat off to all frontline and essential service workers who are still out-and-about to keep us fed, safe and healthy at this time, while the rest of us remain in our bubbles. 

"Our Coromandel communities are all in this together and I encourage you all to try to remain strong and positive.

"Better days are ahead."

- Mayor Sandra Goudie

Stay connected

We know some business owners are feeling vulnerable and still don't know about the support avenues available. Useful information links are at the bottom of this update.

Our Council's economic development team is here to support and connect you with the help and funds available. Call 07 868 0200 or email customer.services@tcdc.govt.nz to get in touch.

We are also working in with lots of partners such as local business associations, Destination Coromandel and the Waikato Mayoral Forum to support businesses and prepare for recovery when restrictions are lifted. Stay up-to-date with developments at tcdc.govt.nz/supportlocal

We encourage you to keep in touch with your local business association, or check out a webinar hosted by Te Waka on popular business-help topics (more information below).

The Government this week launched the 'Getting through together' campaign to help Kiwis care for their mental health during this crisis. More information: www.allright.org.nz

Wage subsidy scheme update

At the start of this week, the Ministry of Social Development had processed 426,000 wage subsidy applications supporting 876,200 employees to a value of $5.3 billion nationally.

Regional breakdowns on these figures are not yet available.

We understand the Ministry has this week been catching up with 100,000 subsidies that need to be processed before Easter.
You can now access a public list of employers who have received the wage subsidy here www.services.workandincome.govt.nz/eps

 Now for some good news...

Shields up! The plastic visor masks are a collaboration between Read Bros Hardware and Md3d Engineering    

Two Thames businesses have teamed up to make plastic visor face shields for healthcare workers in our community.

Md3d Engineering prints the frame and Read Bros Hardware has donated the clear visor for the shields shown below. So far, 100 shields have been delivered to loal GPs, nurses, frontline staff and chemists.  Healthcare workers are invited to contact Mickaël Dernoncourt at Md3d Engineering (0279638352) for more information. #madeinthamesnz

We'd love to hear more about what local Coromandel businesses are doing over this time to get through, and help with any additional promotion and marketing. If you've got a story to share, contact georgina.bond@tcdc.govt.nz

Join Te Waka's COVID-19 online workshops

e Waka has partnered with local business experts to make the following online workshop sessions available, free, over the next three weeks.

Cashflow in a crisis hosted by KPMG

  • 11am Tuesday, April 7
  • 11am Tuesday, April 14
  • 11am Tuesday, April 21

Human resources hosted by Everest

  • 11am Wednesday April 8
  • 11am Wednesday April 15
  • 11am Wednesday April 22

Business continuity hosted by Business Success Partners and Phil Wicks

  • 11am Thursday April 9

Details on how to join a webinar are available on tewaka.nz or on the Te Waka Facebook page

Te Waka business advisory goes online

Te Waka's business advisors are available to provide free business advice during COVID-19 Level 4 restrictions and are now booking meeting slots via video conferencing tool Zoom. Advisors can also talk by phone if that's preferred.

Advisors can offer assistance in cashflow management and finance, human resources, health and wellness and business continuity planning and any other areas of need. They will refer business owners to helpful resources including where to go for government assistance. 

To secure a slot visit tewaka.nz or call Te Waka on 07 857 0538 or email businessgrowth@tewaka.nz

If you're new to Zoom, it's a simple-to-use, free, video conferencing platform. When you make contact, a Te Waka business advisor will email you a Zoom meeting request to set up the video conference appointment.

More information is available at tewaka.nz

Support local initiatives

We'd love to hear more about what local Coromandel businesses are doing over this time to get through, and help with any additional promotion and marketing.

Check out the Coromandel Distilling Co, which has turned its attention to public health, launching an alcohol antiseptic hand sanitiser, in collaboration with Thames artist Fatu Feu'u. 

The sanitiser is MPI-approved essential business and it's PPE-registered with Manufacturing NZ.

Bulk orders can be placed at info@corodc.com or you can buy it at the Re Store Eco Market on Pollen St, Thames.

Visit tcdc.govt.nz/supportlocal for more examples of local businesses that have adapted their services online or have come up with an innovative way to collaborate or adapt during this season.

If you've got a story to share, contact georgina.bond@tcdc.govt.nz

Useful links for business

• Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in one place here

• Information on the Governnment's wage subsidy scheme, including how to apply and other support for business can be found at govt.nz/coronavirus or business.govt.nz

• The Ministry of Health website remains the best site for up-to-date Covid-19 health-related information.

• Covid 19: Information for business   This page brings together government information relating to Covid-19, how it may affect your business and how you can stay up-to-date as new information becomes available.

Information for employers considering redundancies

• Employment New Zealand: Workplace responses to Covid-19

• Information on the Government’s $12.1 billion support package for New Zealanders and business can be found here.

Ministry of Social Development

Inland Revenue

Mental Health Foundation

• Information for exporters can be found here