Supporting business  |  6 Oct 2020

A new campaign has been launched to share the stories that make Waitaha Canterbury one of the leading regions for business growth.

The campaign is a digital evolution of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce (CECC) annual Westpac Champion Business Awards, with people encouraged to give a shout out to a local business, team or individual or share their own story at

The campaign runs until 6 November.

CECC Chief Executive Leeann Watson says the initiative is aimed at providing a platform to share the "best kept secrets" of the region and reinforce the role that business plays in our wider community.

"Throughout the last few months, we have talked to thousands of businesses and have heard some amazing stories of innovation, nimbleness, determination, collaboration and kindness, so we wanted to provide a platform to share those stories and celebrate our business champions who contribute to the strong quality of life the people in Ōtautahi Christchurch and Waitaha Canterbury enjoy,’’ Ms Watson says.

"While in a normal year, we could showcase some of those businesses at our annual Awards ceremony, this year we decided to take the celebration online, given the uncertainty of running events during COVID-19, and focus on collectively championing all businesses - as there has never been a better time to share positive stories about our business community than right now.

“Your business champion could be a supplier that has innovated to make the most of a market opportunity; or your own team that has introduced a new staff wellbeing initiative; or a shout-out to a local business operator who always greets you with a smile.

"From great feats to small tokens, we want to hear what makes Canterbury such an amazing place to live, work and play,’’ Ms Watson says.

Westpac’s South Island Area Manager, Commercial, Mark Forward says the campaign provides an opportunity to recognise the resilience, determination and creativity of Canterbury businesses.

"It has been a challenging year, but we’ve been so proud to see the hard work and adaptability businesses across the region have shown and look forward to hearing the stories that will be shared through this campaign,’ Mr Forward says.

All individuals who share a story will go in the draw to win one of three advertising vouchers, worth $5000 each, from Mediaworks and The Press or one of three $1000 Air New Zealand travel vouchers.