14 Jul 2020

Small businesses get further funding to stay afloat

2:38 pm on 14 July 2020

More support is rolling out for small and medium enterprises from the Covid response and recovery fund.

Police Minister Stuart Nash

Minister for small business Stuart Nash. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

A further $40 million for the Regional Business Partners (RBP) network, has been announced by the government.

The funding will enable 1300 registered professional service providers to deliver free business advice and training to small and medium enterprises.

"We don't underestimate the struggle small businesses are facing at the moment, and the pressures they are under, be they financial or mental health," minister for small business Stuart Nash said.

"This is the time to leverage personal and business networks and use local contacts to help innovate and grow. Our message to small businesses is that we have got your back.

"The best way to keep up the momentum of economic recovery, retain jobs, and adapt to Covid-19 is if we all work together. The RBP Network allows the government and private sector to work in partnership to help our small firms."

The new support is on top of the $15 million invested since March for the regional business partners scheme, connecting firms to expert advice at no cost to the business.

So far more than 6200 businesses have been given free advice, and another 4600 have registered to take part.

"Around 60 percent of businesses who have used the RBP Network for professional support are firms with five or fewer staff. Around 80 percent have ten or fewer workers. There's strong interest from manufacturing, tourism, construction, and retail businesses", Nash said.

The new funding includes $37.25 million to directly fund professional advisory services and $2.75 million to increase resourcing within the network.

*See all RNZ coverage of Covid-19

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs