It’s a challenging time for small businesses right now, but the people in Tairua Business Network are sharing experiences, ideas and supporting each other in a positive approach to that challenge. Those gathering in a relaxed atmosphere at Manaia Café and Bar last week included people in real estate, accommodation, an art gallery, a landlord and glamping.
“We’re an informal group who get together for breakfast meetings or after work,” says member Donna Brooke. “It’s also an opportunity for our local businesses to show their work to each other. We talk about challenges and opportunities and it’s a neat thing to do.” Donna believes business networking and support are particularly important at this time.
“There are some challenges in the current climate, particularly in small businesses and in retail. Prior to Covid, businesses were strong and buoyant in our tourist town. But because of Covid, people have had to re-think and adapt. Now we have this wonderful group who are eager and are starting up new things. We share information and this can also bring opportunities to upskill.” Donna points out that there are some consolations to adapting to Covid.
“It’s taught us how to communicate online and to have zoom meetings. It has also been the catalyst for an influx of people choosing to work and live in Tairua, and that includes a lot of people working from home. There are also some people in big business who have chosen to come to Tairua. Personally I would like to see us have a recognisable voice as a business community group. This would help us when communicating with our district council. If we had a voice, we could have some credibility to inform and direct the development of our town. At the moment we are probably too informal for that.” Donna says businesses in Tairua are known to get behind any events in the area and to support each other’s initiatives. She believes businesses relating to tourism are in for a ‘boomer’ summer. However, there is currently a lack of staff and lack of accommodation for them in Tairua.
Tairua Business Network welcomes new members. It has a Facebook page and has a good relationship with Tairua Information and Services Centre. For more information contact Donna, 0278481612.
Pictured : Some members of Tairua Business Network (back from left) Gavin Morris, Chris Brooke, Michelle Azar, Faye Saunders, Viv Attwell, ( front from left) Donna Brooke, Barry Roberts, Sue Roberts.