A message from the chamber

Covid WHAT? You would be forgiven if this was your response to “How’s business” based on the visitors and trading numbers over the Easter break. 

Several businesses in the CBD reported revenues you would expect over the Christmas period; some have even reported their biggest week ever! And it wasn’t just Easter weekend, people have remained in Raglan for the school holidays and are continuing to spend their money here. 

It was only just last week (a weekday) that people on the street (without a reservation) were being turned away and couldn’t find anywhere to eat.  It’s a positive sign after many struggled to keep their doors open through the pandemic and have pushed through with sheer perseverance, some accessing their life savings to keep their business afloat. 

But, and it is a huge BUT… Businesses are now facing new challenges caused by Covid… staff.  With the virus itself still running rife in the community, businesses are struggling with finding staff in order to keep their doors open, with so many falling with Covid and having to isolate for 7 days (sometimes longer).  

As we have asked throughout the pandemic, and we ask again, please be kind and patient. Your local waitress may be working their 4th double shift in a row, your local shop keeper may have just been called in to cover another shift and missing time with their family, or your local bookkeeper may have just returned to work and is now 2 weeks behind – so be kind Whaingaroa, we are close to the end!

In other news, the Chamber have been in discussions with the World Rally Championship (WRC). This isn’t to be confused with Rally New Zealand. The WRC last visited Raglan in 2012 (for those of us that remember, they set up camp on the aerodrome). Well, the time has come, and they are looking to return to Raglan in September. This is an amazing opportunity for our small town, with thousands of visitors expected to spend between $90,000 – $120,000 within Raglan alone, not to mention the international exposure we are set to benefit from as the event is broadcasted across 150 countries, attracting 70 million viewers, all tuning and getting to see our beautiful town.  

Understandably the monetary value of such an event is an opportunity not to be missed. However, the opportunities extend beyond businesses, with the potential for local fundraising groups or local schools to set up stalls (perhaps a good ol’ fashioned sausage sizzle?) to generate income for their cause. We are looking to host WRC at one of our breakfast events in the near future where they can talk directly to the business community about what the WRC can do for Raglan. 

We also welcome Fiona Gates and Paul Irwin as the new owners of Raglan Harbour View Hotel. We are excited to have the Hotel as a member and will be looking to hold events there in the near future. In the meantime we encourage you to go and check out their new menu.

Coming up:

• As many of you will be aware, we have had to cancel our BA5 on Wahine Moe for the 2nd time (due to weather). We hope to reschedule this soon. 

• We are continuing our Employment Law sessions with Jamie Lomas (Partner at DTI Lawyers). For her recent webinar please see our previous newsletter for the link – there is some really useful stuff in there!

• We are looking to run another event based on the mental health impact on businesses from Covid, and how we can support ourselves and our staff getting back our feet.

As a reminder we welcome all of our members to come to our events, whether you are a one-man band or you have a staff of 20, like-minded people coming together can do great things for you as an individual and for your business. 

– Raglan Business Chamber