Published: Wednesday 16 March 2022

Main Streets in Taranaki towns are looking deserted. Businesses which rely on foot traffic have been hugely impacted ever since the Omicron variant started doing the rounds.

Ron Trigg, the owner of Mike’s Brewery Bistro, says the foot traffic situation in New Plymouth's CBD is horrid. His revenue is down 60 percent. This message is echoed by many businesses. "The stay safe, stay home health messaging," according to Ron, "is unintentionally hurting businesses because people are staying away. And the CBD is the hardest hit."

Unsurprisingly Ron welcomes the $100,000 Business Support Package (funded by the NPDC’s Agility Fund and leftover COVID recovery money). This Taranaki wide initiative, seeks to supercharge the Go Local campaign. To achieve this, Venture Taranaki, the Business and Retail Association (BARA) and the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce will work closely with the support of the region’s councils.

The major rollout will be in late March.

So what can businesses do now to immediately benefit? They need to register on the SOS Business (Spend on Small Business) website www.sosbusiness.nz

Last week, before the NPDC approved the Business Support Package, only 138 Taranaki businesses were registered on this website. Registering here means people can purchase a voucher online and the business gets paid instantly. And cashflow at the moment is critical.

The Chamber will be running free Webinars on wellbeing to support Taranaki businesses as part of this collaborative initiative. Dates will be announced soon.

What messages does your business have for the community?

Email us at admin@taranakichamber.co.nz and put Business Voice in the subject line.