Creative thinking keeps Cheviot afloat
Staying open seven days per week has been made possible for Two Rivers Cafe´ in Cheviot after receiving the town’s first business recovery grant.
Owner Debbie Anderson, who is also chair of Cheviot Promotions Association, said she was delighted to receive the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) grant which ensured that she could remain open and retain all her staff while awaiting the reopening of SH1.
‘‘The roads were empty after the earthquake with 80 per cent less traffic and while business has picked up now, with the road closed from Tuesday to Thursday we do notice a drop off in passing traffic on those days.’’
The aftermath of the earthquake had brought the community closer together with businesses devising creative strategies to draw visitors from Christchurch and North Canterbury.
‘‘We’ve had to think outside the box to get through difficult times. Changing our product range and pricing strategy, along with making cakes to take away and taking products to customers are some of the options we explored.’’
Successful initiatives to promote Cheviot businesses, products and services included a Taste Hurunui fundraising dinner at the Christchurch Casino, and hampers filled with local products to support smaller businesses.
‘‘We’ve been amazed by the fantastic support we have received from all sorts of businesses and organisations. Having groups from Christchurch and North Canterbury come to visit for the day has really boosted local businesses. It really has meant the world to us to see how much Cantabrians care about each other.
‘‘The mayor has been just brilliant right from the start and is always been available to help us whenever we’ve needed it. Enterprise North Canterbury have helped local businesses access earthquake subsidies which has been absolutely vital for us.’’
With SH1 set to reopen, Anderson saw a bright future for Cheviot and was excited about a marketing campaign to highlight walking and cycling along with the upcoming spring fair.
‘‘We’ve definitely put ourselves on the map and we’re creating a positive future for Cheviot.’’
Debbie Anderson of Cheviot’s Two Rivers Cafe says a recovery grant has allowed her business to stay open.