Small to medium-sized Canterbury businesses have a new avenue of support – the Vodafone Foundation and the Canterbury Business Recovery Trust have announced a joint venture to help quake-affected businesses grow.
The trust will provide wage subsidy grants to SMEs, and has already paid out $2.5 million in grants and interest-free loans.
“To date, the Trust Fund has helped 163 businesses employing nearly 1,200 people," said executive director Louise Edwards.
"We are thrilled to be working with the Vodafone Foundation and are grateful for their very generous support which will help earthquake-affected businesses rebuild and grow."
The Canterbury Business Recovery Trust Fund is an initiative of Recover Canterbury, with the purpose of raising and distributing funds for business support after the September and February earthquakes.
Recover Canterbury is a joint venture that brings together the expertise and resources of the South Island’s two largest business support agencies, Canterbury Development Corporation and Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, along with several government agencies involved in business support.
Trust chair Bruce Irvine said its vision was to help create a thriving and prosperous business community.
He said Vodafone's generosity would enable businesses to take on new staff, creating additional jobs that would stimulate help the local and national economy.