Quake-hit Canterbury businesses plead for help

10:24 pm on 18 December 2010

A group set up to help earthquake-stricken Canterbury businesses says many are "haemorrhaging" and in desperate need of more central and local government support.

At a public meeting, the recently formed Canterbury Small to Medium Enterprise Action Group asked authorities to commit further funding to failing businesses.

The group tabled 11 initiatives, one of which proposes grants of $1000 per employee paid to business owners before Christmas and another of $500 in mid-January.

Business owners say they appreciate there is not a bottomless pit of money but they have paid taxes and provided employment for years, and the cost of their firms failing would be far greater than the financial support they are seeking.

A spokesperson, Mark Hau, says he is confident the Ministry of Economic Development will work out the cost of the proposals and how much the Government can commit to.