Waikato businesses will benefit from a new phone-based support centre that will provide advice and assistance to organisations affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Waikato Business Support is led by Waikato’s regional economic development agency, Te Waka.
The new service is part of cohesive and growing efforts by the Waikato community to support businesses hit hard by COVID-19 Alert Level 4 and the lockdown period, together with a focus on business recovery beyond lockdown.
Te Waka CEO Michael Bassett-Foss says the Waikato business community is strong and will continue to rally to protect its own from the COVID-19 fallout.
“The economic situation is changing rapidly. It’s been important these past few weeks to act decisively, move quickly and set up the Waikato Business Support initiative as soon as possible.
“Te Waka’s job is to help Waikato businesses survive, revive and grow post COVID-19. That means pooling our resources and working together with others to accelerate business recovery and enhance business capability.
“This project is also about taking a longer-term view and thinking about reviving economic activity and growth in the region post COVID-19.”
Bassett-Foss says the Waikato Business Support initiative strengthens Te Waka’s existing Business Growth Service. It offers Hamilton business owners access to a first point of contact, with the knowledge and skills to assist them to access an even broader range of skills and expertise at a time when they need it most.
“Waikato Business Support will provide an effective way to connect businesses to local and national government support resources. It will also reassure business owners that help and resources are available to help them navigate their way through this uncertain time.”
Waikato Business Support will be manned by an experienced team of coordinators who are all business professionals themselves.
Initially, these coordinators will carry out a ‘wellness’ check by proactively calling local businesses. This call will involve ascertaining how businesses are coping, where they are at in a continuity-resilience-recovery cycle, what support they have already received, and what support they may still be able to access.
The Waikato Business Support team will provide support over phone or videoconference and will put businesses in touch with the appropriate Government support agencies when necessary. This team will also help business owners complete applications for Government business support packages.
Businesses can also call Waikato Business Support for help on 07 929 4673 or visit the website www.waikatobusinesssupport.nz to register for a call back.