The weekend that should’ve been…It is no secret that our quaint and charming hometown is also a major tourist destination.
It is no surprise that our business community relies heavily on long weekends, especially Labour Weekend, which is labelled the opening of the “summer trade,” as thousands of visitors would normally come to explore and be in awe of our local artists for the Raglan Arts Weekend.
The continual uncertainty for our local economy is “gut wrenching” and “heart breaking”; a lesser description is simply untrue. Our familiar faced, local business owners strive to keep their businesses afloat (within the alert level restrictions) only to face the sombre reality – it is beyond tough out there.
Undoubtedly the main concern is the drop in revenue. However, it’s not just about money. The truth is, we are witnessing catastrophic effects on our business owners’ mental health. Watching sales plummet while remaining responsible for paying overheads and staff wages (those staff that rely on their pay cheque to feed their own families) is stressful. It is hard. If you are one of these people, you are not alone. We want to help.
The Raglan Chamber have met several times (via Zoom) to discuss what we can do. Often we have felt helpless and frustrated not knowing how to approach this “uncharted territory” as we want to provide useful and practical help. We all agreed a sense of community and exercising inclusiveness was essential for us to get through this. We are all in this together. One way or another we rely on each other. Our community relies on our local businesses for goods and services and to pay staff wages, where our businesses rely on the community to buy their goods and services. It’s something we need to remember. And this inclusiveness doesn’t just apply on this side of the divvy.
Knowing we must move fast to provide the necessary support, we are in the process of arranging the following assistance over the next fortnight:
Opening up the Business and Mental Health Support funds paid through Regional Business Partners to our businesses (not just Auckland).
An Employment Lawyer will hold a Zoom presentation/discussion on managing your workplace during COVID, including vaccinations and lockdown obligations and an update on recent legal developments.
Waikato based Business Banker to hold a Zoom forum to discuss financial difficulties and what Banks can do to help or what you need to do to raise short-term funds.
A Human Resource specialist will hold a discussion regarding the impact on the culture in your business and how to manage and look after your staff going forward.
Raglan Retail Zoom meeting – where all businesses (not just retail) can come together to openly discuss and share knowledge and experience.
Based on our own ideology of inclusiveness the above event presentations will be available to all businesses. If you are not a member and would like details of these events which will be released soon, please see our website raglanchamber.co.nz or Instagram/Facebook for updates.
We are an exceptional and loyal bunch of people. We will band together and support one another. We will get through this.