Minister for Economic Development Simon Bridges and Social Development Minister Anne Tolley have today announced a final extension to the support package for businesses affected by the Kaikōura earthquake.
The Government approved $17.5 million dollars to support businesses in Kaikōura, Hurunui, Marlborough and Wellington post-earthquake. To date businesses have accessed almost $14.9 million of that fund.
“Kaikōura and Hurunui are still getting back on their feet following last year’s earthquake, so it makes sense to extend the support package for businesses,” says Mr Bridges.
“Wellington and Hutt Councils have told us that most cordons will soon be lifted. Therefore to ensure the rest of the fund is spent where it is most needed, businesses in the Wellington and Hutt areas will no longer be eligible from 5 March,” says Mr Bridges.
“The extension will be until 30 April, but will be tiered in two stages. For the first four weeks, businesses will receive $375 per week for each full time employee and $225 for each part time employee. For the second four weeks that will move to $250 and $150 respectively,” says Mrs Tolley.
In addition to this, Cabinet has approved a new one-million dollar business grant programme for Kaikōura, Hurunui and Marlborough.
A business recovery trust will be set up by the Kaikōura District Council and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment to administer the fund and ensure the businesses that most need support, receive it.
“Kaikōura and the surrounding area are recovering slowly, but it will take time to reopen State Highway One. We believe the establishment of a business recovery trust, similar to the one which supported Christchurch businesses after the Canterbury earthquakes, is the ideal way to ensure support is targeted to businesses most in need post 30 April,” says Mr Bridges.