North Waikato business people can now access free advice, support and potentially funding to help their enterprise grow.
Waikato District Council, as part of its Open Waikato economic development service, has partnered with Waikato Innovation Park to offer the free business service from Tuakau. The service offers support for start-ups plus advice on business expansion, export market development, research and development funding and product development. The service is already available in the south of the district, based at Ruakura in Hamilton.
Waikato Innovation Park is the lead agency for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Callaghan Innovation funding programmes. The Park’s business growth advisors can facilitate business access to the Food Innovation Network which provides services and facilities for food manufacturing businesses developing new products.
Waikato District Mayor Allan Sanson said council’s economic development team (Open Waikato) had worked hard to extend the service into Tuakau and Pokeno.
“Waikato Innovation Park, along with the council, recognise Tuakau and Pokeno as high-growth, high-potential areas and we want to do all we can to foster and support economic growth that benefits our community,” Sanson said.
“North Waikato is full of smart people and budding entrepreneurs and this free service will provide support they might not otherwise have been able to access.”
Waikato Innovation Park business growth advisor Peter Davey said the main criteria for assistance was a desire to grow.
“We’re very interested in helping local businesses that are wanting to grow, facing technical roadblocks, or looking to take on new skills that will enable business growth.”
Business people can access the free service on the second Tuesday morning of every month and meet with a Waikato Innovation Park business advisor at the council office in Tuakau. Appointments can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Open Waikato’s freephone 0800 252 626.
Mayor Sanson also urged North Waikato businesses to take advantage of the existing web-based business service already offered by Waikato District Council. A website, www.openwaikato.co.nz was “jam-packed” with information to help Waikato businesses succeed, he said.