9 Apr 2020

Subsidies for struggling businesses, marketing support and rates relief are the immediate priorities in a three-phase economic recovery package being put together for Christchurch.

Details of the economic recovery package were outlined to Christchurch City Council today by Council Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale and ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive Joanna Norris.

The first phase of the package involves providing tactical, immediate support to impacted businesses through business advice, marketing support and mentorship.

A new ChristchurchNZ Business Support Subsidy scheme launched today will also provide eligible small to medium-sized businesses with up to $1000 for professional advice to help them deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

The second phase of the recovery package is aimed at stimulating and reactivating the economy in the short to medium term. The third phase concentrates on strategic planning and high impact activity that will bolster the economy and create jobs in the long term.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel says it is important that Christchurch’s economic recovery is locally led and nationally connected and supported.

“It is also vital as ChristchurchNZ said this morning that economic recovery has to be included in a broader recovery plan with community at its heart, showing the connection between the four wellbeings – cultural, social, economic and environmental,’’ Mayor Dalziel says.

The Mayor also re-emphasised the importance of getting the civil construction sector back to work. 

“I have received a strong message from the private sector: The civil construction industry will be ready to go once the Alert Level is reduced.  We will be able to do so safely. 

"We are an integral part of the local economy (one of the few that remains strong), we cannot have a delay on the other side of this as not only will our industry suffer, the wider economy will.  This type of damage is avoidable if we plan now, work together, and move fast. 

“This is exactly the kind of collaboration that our economic recovery is dependent on, and the message that our Council is sending alongside ChristchurchNZ is that we hear you, and will ensure that we are ready so your teams can hit the ground running once the very necessary COVID-19 restrictions are lifted,” says Mayor Dalziel.

“We know that large infrastructure projects help generate economic activity so we are currently reviewing our capital works programme to further identify projects that could potentially be brought forward.

“We will submit suitable projects to take advantage of working in collaboration with central government where that will work, and we will release as much work as possible when the lockdown ends,’’ the Mayor says.

“The success of the Economic Recovery Package depends on the public, private and community sectors working hand-in-hand in a coordinated, sustained way. Our economic recovery is not going to happen overnight.

“It is going to take a sustained effort from all quarters, but as a city we are used to pulling together so we are well positioned to tackle this challenge,’’ Mayor Dalziel says.