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Are you struggling due to the impact of COVID-19? Please get in touch. 

So we can help you, we’ll need you to register your details. One of our Business Growth Advisors will be in touch as soon as possible.

Get in touch

Across Manawatū the effects of COVID-19 are being felt by all of our communities and businesses. The Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) is available to support you through this unprecedented time and the challenges that will be faced. As providers of the Regional Business Partner Network across Manawatū-Whanganui, we have an important role, funded by government to link businesses to available support. Our team of dedicated Business Growth Advisors are also here to help, simply fill in this form to get in touch. 


Government Support
Tautoko mo te rauemi

The Government has put in place a $12.1 billion support packageworth 4% of GDP, which is focused on protecting New Zealander’s health, protecting the vulnerable, protecting livelihoods, supporting our businesses and ensuring the quickest recovery possible on all fronts. This includes a $500 million boost for health, $8.7 billion in support for businesses and jobs and $2.8 billion for income support and boosting consumer spending. 

On 23rd March the Government announced a six-month mortgage repayment holiday to homeowners whose incomes have been affected by COVID-19, with the exact criteria being worked through currently.  

Further to this, a $6.25 billion Business Finance Guarantee Scheme was announced for small and medium-sized businesses, to protect jobs and support the economy through this unprecedented time. The scheme will include a limit of $500,000 per loan and will apply to firms with a turnover of between $250,000 and $80 million per annum. The loans will be for a maximum of three years and expected to be provided by the banks at competitive, transparent rates and the Government will carry 80% of the credit risk, with the other 20% to be carried by the bank. Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme. Get in touch with your bank directly, or contact us on [email protected] if you would like assistance.

The whole of New Zealand is currently on Level Four of the COVID-19 alert system. This means only essential businesses are allowed to remain open, and only under strict criteria.  


What is an Essential and Non-Essential Business?
He aha te hanga Pakihi me te kore kore

There has been a lot of discussion and questions on what is and isn’t classified as an essential business. The latest list of ‘Essential Services and Businesses’ can be found here and is being updated frequently. Get in touch via [email protected] if you’re unsure, or phone 0508 377 388 if you cannot find the information you need. 

All non-essential businesses must now close, including bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms, cinemas, pools, museums, libraries, playgrounds and any other place where the public congregate must close their face to face function. 

Primary Industries:
The Primary Industries have been recognised as an essential service, however all businesses must
register for Safe Practice to provide assurance that they will be protecting workers and public by limiting interactions and reducing the potential spread of COVID-19. See the FAQ guide, or register here.  

Accommodation Providers:
These are classified as an essential service, however any persons staying at an accommodation provider must remain on site for the entirety of the Level 
Four lockdown.

The following is a summary of Essential Businesses that are remaining open on alert Level Four as of the 23rd March 2020.    

  • Supermarkets to stay open 
  • Chemists and health services to stay open  
  • Dairies to stay open, with “one-in one-out” rule  
  • Essential Transport services outlined here  
  • Accommodation – any entity that provides accommodation services for essential workers, isolation or quarantine and emergency housing. 
  • Food delivery prohibited, except meals on wheels and delivery of food not pre-cooked  
  • Liquor stores closed, unless within a Licensing Trust Area and with “one-in one-out” rule 
  • Self-service laundries will stay open, with a two-metre physical distancing to be enforced 
  • Retirement villages are included as an essential service  
  • The Warehouse will close all stores to the public  
  • Bunnings, Placemakers, and Mitre10 will stay open for trade purposes only, providing product for the building and construction industry working on essential projects and infrastructure 
  • Methanex to remain in production, but at a scale consistent with stability of gas supply. 
  • Online stores including The Warehouse, Mitre10, Briscoes, JBHiFi and Farmers are allowed to sell essential items during Level Four, including appliances, heating, bedding, cleaning equipment, clothing, health and beauty, and kitchen essentials.

If you are unsure if your business is considered essential, email [email protected] or call 0508 377 388. 

For questions related to primary industries, including food and beverage production and processing, email [email protected] or call 0800 00 83 33. 

Support for Māori communities and businesses
Tautoko me nga Iwi Maori me te Pakihi Maori

The government has developed a plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19, with a whole of government approach to providing health, social and economic support tailored to meet the specific needs of Māori. This will include: 

  • Refocusing of Te Puni Kokiri Regional Hubs to support whānau, hapu and iwi 
  • A whānau Māori Community and Mārae package reprioritising $10 million from the Māori Development vote to support community outreach 
  • Māori Health and Whānau Ora response with $30 million targeted directly to Māori Health services and an extra $15 million to Whānau Ora commissioning agencies 
  • Supporting Māori Businesses and engaging with Māori with $1 million of funding to enable a needs assessment for Māori businesses, and $470,000 to Te Arawhiti to engage and work with iwi on their COVID-19 pandemic response plans. 

To find out more about the support available, please contact [email protected]

CEDA’s team are here to support you and help answer any questions you may have.

We recognise that the level of information is significant, and rapidly changing each day. Get in touch so we can help guide you through the different supports available to you and connect you with the resources you need. 

Our dedicated team of Business Growth Advisors can connect you to the right information and resources to assist you in navigating this unprecedented time for your business. Ways we can help include:   

  • Connecting you to professional service providers to assist you with the issues that you are facing e.g. cash flow management, business continuity management, 
  • Provide you with relevant and up to date information on how and where to access Government support including navigating the Wage Subsidy Scheme, and the recently announced Business Finance Guarantee Scheme. 
  • Assist Māori businesses on Government support available.  
  • Provide you with an experienced Business Mentor to provide additional guidance over the next 12 months. Business Mentors come with specific skills and are matched depending on your needs.  
  • Facilitate funding for Research and Development including project grants.   
Get in touch


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