New businesses test council development
Red carpet is being rolled out for new business owners rather than red tape, according to South Waikato District Council.
A business case management [ BCM] programme was launched in April this year.
BCM manager Alan Moss said the process is the middle man between council processes and new business owners.
What was once considered a ‘‘red tape’’ process is now seen as a ‘‘red carpet’’ experience, he said.
So far around 45 businesses have tested out the new development.
Alana Ramea and mother Leeanne opened up Hair HQ salon in June under the BCM programme.
Following the closure of two salons last year, the duo decided there was the ‘‘niche’’ for a new one.
The 31-year old hairdresser found the perfect building on Rosebery St in March but before they could whip out the scissors and straighteners they needed to go through council.
‘‘I kind of went around the process back to front because I didn’t know, this is my first business,’’ she said.
She said the council slowed the process but never put up red tape.
‘‘When I got to the council they said ‘ no you need to have all these things in place’,’’ she said.
‘‘They [council workers] were really good, they didn’t make you feel like you couldn’t ask questions,’’ Ramea said.
It was something she took advantage of.
‘‘ We wanted to serve our customers coffee in actual cups and we got that we just had to have a separate area because of contamination,’’ she said.
And despite challenging the council of some decisions she said the reasons were explained clearly.
According to Moss the programme has hit the ground running with an ‘‘extremely positive’’ response.
Other businesses in the district that took part include Tokoroa’s Blue Pacific Minerals and the Wooden Farmer in Putaruru.
Other ideas raised include spring water bottling plants, a dog day care facility in Tokoroa, a childcare centre in Tokoroa and an art gallery in Tirau.
‘‘Quite often initial enquiries are made and the person making the enquiry has requested that their enquiry remain confidential,’’ Moss said.
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Filling up: Hair HQ owners Alana Ramea, front, and mother Leeanne are testiment to the new ‘‘red carpet’’ business case management programme set up by the South Waikato District Council.