Busi­ness boost seized

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Mata­mata busi­ness own­ers are singing the praises of Re­gional Busi­ness Part­ner Waikato, a gov­ern­ment­funded busi­ness sup­port pro­gramme.

Tainui Press De­sign and Print own­ers Dale and Sh­eryl Er­tel and LTL Cov­ers owner Lind­say Tasker are en­cour­ag­ing other Mata­mata busi­ness own­ers to check out the pro­gramme.

‘‘ Re­gional Busi­ness Part­ners has been a lifesaver for us,’’ Mr Er­tel said.

‘‘It has given us in­sight and sup­port we have not found any­where else. It’s helped us iden­tify our strengths and weak­nesses and put the sys­tems in place to deal with them,’’ he said.

RBP Waikato is man­aged by Op­por­tu­nity Hamil­ton and Waikato In­no­va­tion Park, pro­vid­ing a free ser­vice through­out the re­gion.

RBP Waikato pro­gramme man­ager Op­por­tu­nity Hamil­ton has dis­trib­uted tens of thou­sands of dol­lars to­wards busi­ness train­ing with co­part­ner Waikato In­no­va­tion Park dis­tribut­ing more than $ 9.5m in tech­nol­ogy and de­vel­op­ment fund­ing.

RBP Waikato man­ager Novell Gopal is also keen to get the word out in Mata­mata and through­out the greater Waikato.

‘‘We love vis­it­ing Waikato towns and their busi­nesses and giv­ing them sup­port on their busi­ness jour­ney. It’s about sit­ting down, lis­ten­ing to their busi­ness needs and goals and get­ting along­side them to make it hap­pen,’’ Ms Gopal said.

The pro­gramme gives par­tic­i­pants ac­cess to more than 40 Waikato ser­vice providers and of­fers fund­ing of up to $5000 a year to­wards train­ing costs.

The Er­tels ap­proached Re­gional Busi­ness Part­ner Waikato for sup­port late last year and, along with a com­mit­ment to ma­jor in­vest­ment in new equip­ment, they credit the pro­gramme with en­abling the fu­ture of their busi­ness.

‘‘RPB re­ally helps keep you fo­cused and gives you the ex­tra push you need. It has helped us keep our vi­sion alive,’’ Mr Er­tel said.

Mean­while, Mata­mata tent­maker Lind­say Tasker is a step closer to his dream of help­ing the world with his hu­man­i­tar­ian hous­ing prod­uct thanks to the pro­gramme.

Mr Tasker, of LTL Cov­ers, has de­vel­oped the SeekaShel­ter tent pro­to­type to use as emer­gency hous­ing in the wake of nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

Born of LTL’S suc­cess­ful Calf-chalet shel­ter prod­uct, Mr Tasker and his wife and busi­ness part­ner Ellen are work­ing with RBP to­wards dis­tribut­ing the hous­ing prod­uct to gov­ern­ments around the globe.

The Taskers’ Seekashel­ter prod­uct is a 3m by 3.6m hal­fround tent as­sem­bled us­ing a patented flex­i­ble join sys­tem and light­weight steel-based fram­ing cov­ered with dou­ble­skinned poly­eth­yl­ene.

The quickly-as­sem­bled shel­ter sys­tem has been tested in 120 kilome­tre an hour winds and can house up to eight peo­ple.

The next step in the jour­ney is to have it tested by in­ter­na­tional aid agen­cies such as the Red Cross. Re­gional Busi­ness Part­ner is help­ing me get it to that stage, Mr Tasker said.

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