In the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle, Trust Tairāwhiti distributed $16.32 million to 730 local businesses to support their recovery and get back up and running.

The Trust was one of seven agencies tasked with delivering the Government’s business recovery package to flood-affected regions around the North Island.

Eligible businesses could apply for up to $40,000 to help address immediate cash flow issues related to customer access, supply chain issues or inability to operate as usual due to cyclone damage.

Initially the Government allocated $4.5m for Tairāwhiti, but it was quickly evident that the need was far greater. The amount requested by businesses within the first three days exceeded the first tranche of funding.

“We moved quickly to provide the Government with timely data on the economic impacts for our region, including the estimated losses, number of jobs affected and sector insights,” said Richard Searle, the Trust’s Chief Operating Officer for Economic Development.

“The Government was responsive and allocated two further tranches of funding. In total, $16.32m was provided to support Tairāwhiti businesses' recovery from an estimated total loss of $55.14m.”

The Trust could initially only pay businesses up to 43 per cent of the amount requested due to the demand well-exceeding the available funding. Applications closed on April 16 and after they were all processed, the remaining funds were distributed to approved applicants, lifting the amount closer to what was originally requested.

The top five sectors requesting business support grants were forestry, construction, other services, accommodation and food services and retail trade.

“The feedback we’ve had from businesses was that these grants were extremely helpful and critical to their recovery, particularly those businesses that couldn't trade for extended periods due to water and connectivity issues.

“Our priority was standing up an efficient application process as quickly as possible to ensure businesses got support when they really needed it.”

View the complete list of grant recipients