Taking care of business in Tāmaki

Taking care of business in Tāmaki

"Level Up" business support aims to help Tāmaki businesses back on their feet.

 Tāmaki businesses affected by Covid-19 have a chance to get on an even keel again, thanks to a new service being rolled out by the Tāmaki Regeneration Company.

The Level Up Tāmaki Business Support programme will help locals with free ‘business health checks’, free business workshops and possible funding.

There are more than 900 businesses in Tāmaki, including manufacturing, retail, hospitality and automotive companies. Many are owner-operated, with deep family roots in Tāmaki, such as the owner of Kirkwoods Ink & Barbers, Panmure-born Whenua Kirkwood, who has whakapapa stretching back 700 years.

“There’s a vibrancy and diversity in terms of business here,” says Afoa Tevita Malolo, General Manager – Social Transformation & Partnerships for Tāmaki Regeneration Company.

The former commercial and contract solicitor and sports management consultant remembers the Panmure town centre of his childhood after his family migrated from Samoa in the 1980s.

Panmure was a hub for department stores, including Rendell’s, Farmers, and Bond & Bond. Today Panmure town centre is known as a food mecca, with “some hidden gems” – one of the most well-known is Peach’s Hot Chicken, named as one of Auckland’s best fried chicken eateries by Metro magazine last year.

The Level Up programme caters for start-ups and established companies that would benefit from honing business fundamentals; it helps with both immediate and longer-term needs.

“Covid-19 has hamstrung many businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector. We can help them look at new ways of working,” Afoa says.

The Level Up programme is available to every business in Tāmaki – which is made up of Glen Innes, Point England, Panmure and the light industrial and business mixed-use zoned land west of the rail line, with most located between Pilkington Road, Apirana Avenue and Morrin Road.

In signing up for Level Up, business owners will join a zero-fee network of Tāmaki businesses and be able to participate in free workshops, facilitated by Deloitte and others. These specialist-skill workshops cover accounting and tax, strategy and business basics, finance, social enterprise overview, storytelling and pitching, and sales and marketing. The workshops started late October and will run until February 2021.

Tāmaki Regeneration Company is helping to deliver better housing, infrastructure, transport, education and jobs and enhancing community wellbeing in Tāmaki.

Afoa says: “Our businesses are the economic driving engine of the area and we have a vested interest in seeing our business districts thrive even more than the days of my childhood.”

Tāmaki Regeneration Company launched a ‘Support Local’ campaign between Auckland’s first and second lockdowns.

“On the back of the Support Local campaign, our locals really came out in support, but the second wave has seen a drop in business confidence, and Level Up is here to give them a boost,” Afoa says.

All business types, including sole trader, home-based and online businesses, as well as social enterprises, are invited to be part of the Level Up Tāmaki Business Support programme, if they fit the criteria. The next workshops are ‘Strategy and Business Basics’ and ‘Finance’ on Nov 17 and Dec 1 respectively. Business owners can register for the free workshops here.

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