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When the Kaikoura quake struck in November last year Cheviot was badly hit. With the road effectively closed off visitors dried up and through traffic became non-existent overnight – bad news for business.
However, the Cheviot Promotions Group have come up with several initiatives to keep up morale and adapt the town to the new reality. From selling T-shirts to support the town to making sure the town’s social media pages are buzzing - they’ve demonstrated the benefits of working together.
One of their initiatives Cheviot Gift Baskets were devised to “benefit small businesses in Cheviot directly with a financial boost”. The products were all bought and paid for the by Cheviot Promotions Group with all profits being recycled back into the promotions efforts for the town. With 60 sold so far they still have around 40 available to buy.
More recently businesses have also got together to offer an incentive to those shopping in the town. For a four week period those spending more than $20 in Cheviot and were entered in the draw to win a $500 hamper. Other recent promotions have included a ‘no surcharge in Cheviot’ for Waitangi weekend as well as the sale of ‘I’m A Good Bugger – I support Cheviot NZ’ T-shirts and towels. Mini events have also included open gardens, historical tours, suggested walks all designed to draw visitors to the town. As well as a push to promote their new cycle-friendly face with a cycle track brochure to encourage cyclists to explore the area.
All this is testament to the benefits of a strong town association. “It’s been a great example of local businesses coming together and being super proactive” says Enterprise North Canterbury Business Recovery Coordinator Michele Wilson, “An association like this in a town makes a big difference, linking people together and helping them to get through tough times like this”.