Another financial boost for Cyclone-affected businesses
Published on 15 March 2023
The government announcement of a further $25 million grant for businesses impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle could be another much needed shot in the arm for Coromandel businesses.
“Since we opened our Cyclone Gabrielle Business Recovery Grants Fund less than a week ago, we’ve found we’re hugely oversubscribed - so we know the need is real and urgent,” says our Mayor Len Salt. “The fact that our local and State Highway roading networks are fragile gives people pause to visit, which means that our businesses will be feeling the hurt for months to come.
“It just means our communities are grappling with ongoing challenges and impacts for quite some time ,” he says.
Our Council has been tasked to administer a $1.4 million Business Disaster Relief Fund, which is part of the central government funding of $25 million in recovery support to businesses in seven North Island regions affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.
In the first week of the Fund opening, we’ve received nearly 300 applications from businesses.
Staff are currently processing these applications, with the first week’s tranche going before an independent business panel next week.
“The fact that we’re already oversubscribed, and the Fund doesn’t close till the end of this month, and we’re expecting more applications from businesses, our worry is we may miss getting financial assistance to those businesses who really need it,” says Mayor Len. “Having this further $25 million which we will be able to tap into is a welcome boost.”
Find out more about our Cyclone Gabrielle Business Recovery Grants here.
Read the government's news release on the announcement here.
Dire visiting spending in February
There was a 39.9 per cent decline in visitor spending for the month of February, compared to the same time last year, revealing the significant impact the extreme weather has had to the Coromandel
This is sobering stuff as February is normally one of the months where we experience the highest spending, largely due to visitors to the district.
Breaking it down by areas that are covered by our Destination Management Organisation, Destination Hauraki-Coromandel, the spots that saw the worst decline in visitor spend were Tairua (48.2 per cent decline), Whitianga (47.7 per cent decline), Northern Mercury Bay (Kūaotunu, Matarangi, Whangapoua) (47.6 per cent decline) and Coromandel-Colville (46.3 per cent decline).
The bad weather meant the Coromandel didn’t even make the top 10 visitor destinations for the month of February, which is unprecedented.
“This data is no surprise, but gives us some real evidence of how hard the weather has impacted our local businesses,” says our Mayor Len Salt. “While we are processing applications to our Business Assistance Fund, we know there will be a need for ongoing financial assistance to some sectors as we move into the winter season, which is when our visitor numbers historically decline.”
Spending data is collected by an independent consumer spending strategy company MarketView, using transactions records of debit and credit cards (with all personal information removed).