Suc­cesses fly­ing un­der the radar


There have been a lot of good news sto­ries for our Cen­tral Otago econ­omy to cel­e­brate of late, with the an­nounce­ment of $14.7 mil­lion gov­ern­ment fund­ing for the new Cen­tre for Space Sci­ence Tech­nol­ogy, many new busi­nesses open­ing up and build­ing ac­tiv­ity steadily in­creas­ing.

Some­thing that of­ten flies un­der the radar is the suc­cess of the Re­gional Busi­ness Part­ner Net­work in our district.

In Cen­tral Otago, 135 busi­nesses have en­gaged with Re­gional Busi­ness Part­ners since 2011. Fifty-five of th­ese have re­ceived New Zealand Trade and En­ter­prise ca­pa­bil­ity vouch­ers, which have been re­deemed to sub­sidise devel­op­ment and train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to the value of nearly $110,000.

Each of th­ese busi­nesses have made the con­scious de­ci­sion to look at ways to im­prove their busi­ness per­for­mance in some way. They have reached a turn­ing point where rather than con­tinue just tick­ing along they’ve sought to in­ject some new think­ing and see how that might help their busi­ness evolve and grow.

The Cen­tral Otago District Coun­cil re­cently con­firmed ar­range­ments for the con­tin­ued de­liv­ery of the RBP scheme, which matches small and medium-sized busi­nesses with the sup­port and train­ing they need to grow. Coun­cil has en­gaged busi­ness con­sul­tant Tara Druce to co­or­di­nate the pro­gramme in our district.

Tara works in part­ner­ship with busi­ness ad­vi­sors from the Otago Cham­ber of Com­merce, Otago South­land Em­ploy­ers As­so­ci­a­tion and Dunedin City Coun­cil to match Cen­tral Otago busi­nesses with the sup­port they re­quire.

We’re talk­ing a tai­lored ap­proach match­ing a spe­cific busi­ness’ needs with ad­vice on next steps, con­tacts and train­ing sug­ges­tions that are the best fit for their busi­ness.

The as­sess­ment al­lows busi­nesses to gain per­spec­tive from an in­de­pen­dent, ex­pe­ri­enced busi­ness ad­vi­sor in a con­fi­den­tial en­vi­ron­ment. Busi­nesses that ex­port, plan to ex­port or show growth po­ten­tial can also be el­i­gi­ble for sub­si­dies on train­ing and busi­ness coach­ing un­der the Re­gional Busi­ness Part­ner Voucher Scheme.

The pro­gramme can also link busi­nesses to busi­ness men­tors through Busi­ness Men­tors New Zealand, as well as re­search and devel­op­ment grants and sup­port through Cal­laghan In­no­va­tion - the gov­ern­ment agency tasked with mak­ing New Zealand busi­nesses more in­no­va­tive.

I would en­cour­age busi­ness own­ers, as they plan for 2017 and be­yond, to con­sider mak­ing that first step to make an ap­point­ment for an as­sess­ment and grasp this op­por­tu­nity with two hands. There’s noth­ing to lose and po­ten­tially a great deal to gain by ex­plor­ing what RBP can of­fer your busi­ness.

❚ For more in­for­ma­tion on RBP con­tact Tara on 021 216 6543 or tara@druce­con­sult­

Warwick Hawker is the CODC’s eco­nomic devel­op­ment man­ager.

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