The move to Level 2 is a positive step in reopening our economy and getting back to business.

Venture Taranaki chief executive Justine Gilliland has welcomed the announcement that New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2 on Thursday, and the greater certainty around what Level 2 will look like.
 
“The move to Level 2 is a positive step in reopening our economy and getting back to business,” Justine says. 
 
“Treasury have forecast that Level 2 will allow 91.2% of the national economy to restart, and given the makeup of our regional economy, that number could be higher in Taranaki.”
 
“It remains vitally important that we don’t drop our guard in the fight against Covid-19 though, as an outbreak that could trigger a return to level 3 or 4 would be very detrimental to our recovery.”
 
“This means opening and operating within the guidelines, keeping all gatherings to ten or fewer people in size, and constantly assessing risk factors to stop any potential spread.”
 
Level 2 is also an important opportunity to go local, Justine said.
 
“As we emerge from our bubbles and into our region’s shopping and business areas, we need to take stock of where our spending is going. Is it benefitting the local economy, and the enterprises that make up not just that economy, but our communities?”
 
“Now is the time to prioritise support of our region and its people.”
 
Venture Taranaki’s support for local enterprises remains active, with more than 350 enterprises already accessing help to get them manage the impacts. 
 
“We have seen demand in enquiries from businesses seeking support and advice through VT jump to more than 300% above our usual rates.”
 
“One of the most accessed services is the Professional Services Grants which have helped connect more than 380 local enterprises with regional providers through more than $152,000 in local grants, and a further $243,000 through central government funding.”
“I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 50 professional services providers who have partnered with us to deliver this programme, matching our grant with free support, and our local councils for providing the grant funding. It has been an incredibly heartening show of support, not just for our region's businesses, but the Taranaki economy.”
Further support streams for local enterprises continue to be developed, to help them get through the uncertainty and disruption caused by COVID-19.
 
“Inland Revenue’s Small Business Cash Flow Loan programme opens for applications from tomorrow (12 May) until 12 June, providing another tool in helping our enterprises manage the impacts.”
 
Justine advised any local enterprises who were anticipating tough times ahead to get in touch with Venture Taranaki. 
 
“We’re here to help, not just under lockdown, but over the long term as we transition from response to recovery.”