Northland Inc today announced the launch of a specialist COVID-19 channel aimed at aiding businesses that are feeling the effects of the outbreak.
Funded by the national Regional Business Partner Network and working closely in conjunction with other key agencies as part of a broader solution, including the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Ministry of Social Development and the Northland Chamber of Commerce, Northland Inc is gearing itself up to respond to businesses in need.
A new role has been established to help spearhead the initiative, and the team has welcomed Kayla Tattley, who will act as the COVID-19 response coordinator.
"My role builds upon the existing business advice services currently offered through Northland Inc’s RBP programme," she says.
"It will focus specifically on Northland businesses whose operations have been or are likley to be affected by COVID-19, by providing pathways to advice and direction to the approrpriate channels of support."
The hotline number for the business support team will go live on Tuesday, March 24. The number to call is: 0800 525 001.
"Supporting Northland businesses is key to absorbing the economic shock of COVID-19 and we will provide a service that businesses can phone to access free, timely and accessible advice," says Northland Inc CEO Murray Reade.
"We want the Tai Tokerau business community to know that Northland Inc’s here to help in any way we can during this ongoing challenge.
"The government has delivered a historic economic relief package for our country, which has rightly been lauded, and it will be our job to ensure that this support is interpreted clearly and is accessible to businesses.
"The service will include managing enquiries, delivering practical advice or connecting clients with support services. If we can’t supply the answer, one of our growth advisors will put you in touch with someone who can."
Murray says communication and working together during this difficult time was paramount.
"It’s more important than ever that we stay connected as a community and seek help, information and guidance when we need it. This is an opportunity to support those in the business community who are struggling to cope with the rapidly changing operational conditions.
"We are totally committed to supporting and protecting our local economy and the many commercial operations, both big and small, which have played such a pivotal part in transforming our region into the thriving place it is today."
Northland Inc’s general manager, business innovation and growth Joseph Stuart says the special support initiative was all about "engagement, continuity of information and access to other agencies".
"It’s vitally important that businesses in need do not feel isolated; that they know there’s someone there at the other end of the phone, offering advice and assistance, should they require it".