Southland companies support Fiordland | Stuff.co.nz
The first session of the Fiordland Business Support Summit was held at the Fat Duck in Te Anau on Sunday afternoon, where Coin South Chief Activator Louise Evans spoke about ‘hooking your customers’. Some of the businessmen who attended the session were, from left to right, Megan Graham, Louise Evans, Lin Wee and David Walsh with Kerri James, Hannah Gray, Adam Butcher, Kate Norris, Peter Stewart, Rosco Gaudin and Christine Wallace in the first row.
What started as a business asking how it could help has grown into a five-day, 18-session summit to support Fiordland businesses.
The Fiordland Business Support Summit kicked off in Te Anau on Sunday and continues through Thursday, with free seminars covering everything from business planning and working with banks, to navigating immigration settings and Covid-19 vaccinations, and even mental well-being.
Joanne O’Connor, Project and Engagement Manager for the Southland Chamber of Commerce, said: “These are questions we know businesses will be asking themselves due to the uncertainty of the moment.”
The summit came about following a call from Invercargill-based business consultancy and accounting firm Malloch McClean to offer to host conferences in the tourist destination; which has been hit hard by the closure of New Zealand’s borders.
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O’Connor said that “it only grew from there,” and no one the House asked to speak at the summit said no, so his team decided to offer sessions on several days, at different times, to allow as many business owners as possible to benefit from the advice.
“We just want to help. And our members want to help, ”she said, encouraging businesses to connect with the Chamber for any advice they might need in the future.
Fiordland Business Association President Nathan Benfell said the association fully supports the summit and appreciates the efforts of the extended whānau who have reached out to help their neighbors.
“I encourage everyone to take advantage of it while they are in town,” he said.
As the owner of the bed and breakfast himself, Benfell was very eager to network.
“This connection is powerful,” he said, adding that many of the business leaders who would speak had already done business with Fiordland.
“We really need people to support him and show their appreciation,” he said. “If a person could get one thing to take away that would help them or their business, it would be a success. “