Publish date: 22/07/2020

The recent Government announcement of $40 million of extra funding to be distributed to New Zealand SMEs via the Regional Business Partner (RBP) Network has been welcomed by Enterprise North Canterbury (ENC).

Ministers Twyford and Nash announced the funding boost last week, saying the funding is aimed at helping small and medium enterprises to adapt and innovate to deal with the impact of Covid-19. It follows the $15 million already invested in the RBP Network since March.

ENC Chief Executive Heather Warwick says the news is very welcome. “As the Regional Business Partner for the North Canterbury region, Enterprise North Canterbury is very pleased to hear that additional funds have been made available to support and assist our small businesses at this difficult time.

“ENC received $207,000 from the first tranche of RBP funding and this enabled us to directly help 213 North Canterbury and Kaikōura businesses. Our team is looking forward to continuing this support through this new allocation.”

The funds are distributed by Regional Business Partners around the country who discuss each business’ needs with the applicant and then connect them to relevant professional support from trusted providers.

The fund covers one-on-one advice and support in the following areas:

  • HR
  • Health and wellness
  • Business continuity planning
  • Finance and cashflow management

To be eligible for funding, businesses will need to have registered on the RBP Platform*. An ENC Growth Advisor will then make contact with the registered business. Funding will be at the discretion of the Growth Advisors with the aim to provide funds to as many eligible businesses as possible.

In addition to registering on the RBP platform, businesses will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Have fewer than 50 full time equivalent employees
  • Be registered for GST in New Zealand
  • Be operating in a commercial environment
  • Be a privately owned businesses, or a Maori Trust or incorporation under the Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 or similar organisation managing Maori assets under multiple ownership.

If your business meets the above criteria and you wish to apply for the RBP Covid-19 Advisory Fund your next step is to register on the RBP Platform or, *if you have already done so, email to request a time to speak with an ENC Business Growth Advisor. North Canterbury and Kaikōura businesses can only access this fund through Enterprise North Canterbury.

For more information on the Regional Business Partner Network visit their website.