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Minister for Small Business Craig Foss.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Anyone with a creative idea and a passion to succeed can start a business. Local support vastly improves your chances of succeeding and enjoying the freedom of being a business owner. Events like this are important to demonstrate the support available locally.

Peter Jarratt, Business Growth Advisor, Activate Tairawhiti

Big attendance at small business roadshow

27 July 2016, Andrew Ashton, The Gisborne Herald.

More than 100 attend Taking Care of Business roadshow.

A NATIONWIDE roadshow aimed at providing small businesses with face-to-face access to Government departments and information on new tax and health and safety rules, yesterday attracted droves of local business owners.

Minister for Small Business Craig Foss and speakers from a variety of agencies, including Statistics NZ, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, ACC and IRD attended the Taking Care of Business roadshow, which took place at the Whitehouse.

More than 100 people turned out for the Gisborne event, which was one of 16 roadshows organised across New Zealand and facilitated here by Activate Tairawhiti.

Minister for Small Business Craig Foss said the turnout was “fantastic”.

“Around the country we have been blown away by the turnout and with more than 100 people here, this is one of the highest turnouts we’ve had so far, it’s fantastic.

“The real mission here, is to alert all the small business owners to all the tools that are already available to help them in the business.”

Wealth of information

The event provided business owners with “a wealth” of information.

“The biggest thing is the Government agencies have come to the local businesses, not the other way around. I’m very proud this model is working.

“Gisborne and the whole East Coast are doing well, Hawke’s Bay is doing well. one of the keys is connectivity. All the things we do as a Government, keeping interest rates low, having a growing economy, help across the country to empower businesses like those in Gisborne to really fulfil their potential.”

Speeches covered upcoming changes to tax rules, as well as the need to end the “handshake contract in favour of individual employment agreements. A host of online tools was highlighted, along with the need for employers to maintain employment records.

Face-to-face “speed dates” also allowed those attending one-on-one time with Government representatives.

Activate Tairawhiti business growth advisor Jo Emerre said the event would help spread the word of what help was available locally for small businesses, including the Regional Business Partners “investment-ready programme”.

“We have supported and funded some 400 local businesses since the beginning of the Regional Business Partner programme in 2010. While this has been extremely successful to date, it still only represents around 10 percent of the businesses in the region that may be eligible for support.

“Initiatives like the Taking Care of Business roadshow are important, as they help us as advisers reach businesses that are unaware of the assistance available or how easy it is to access.”

Fellow business growth advisor Peter Jarratt agreed.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Anyone with a creative idea and a passion to succeed can start a business. Local support vastly improves your chances of succeeding and enjoying the freedom of being a business owner. Events like this are important to demonstrate the support available locally.”

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