Canterbury business people who have either closed their businesses or are struggling severely in the aftermath of the earthquake will share their stories at a meeting of the Canterbury Small Business Action Group (SBAG) at Christchurch Polytechnic on Friday.
“These stories will show that immediate government assistance is essential if thousands of small businesses are not forced to close their doors,” says SBAG CEO Mathew Carpenter.
“If we follow the pattern set by San Francisco in 1979, one third of all small businesses or 10,000 are doomed and we can’t let anything like that happen,” he says.
“But it will happen if the government doesn’t come to their assistance before it’s too late. I don’t think there is an awareness out there of how serious this is and how it will impact on the Canterbury and national economies.”
Mr Carpenter says if even 2000 businesses close, that would be a loss of between 10,000 and 15,000 jobs.
“Business turnover has dropped about 40 percent since the quake and that’s because people are still in emotional turmoil and are not spending,” says Mr Carpenter.
“Failing to help these businesses through this period is like failing to help farmers through a 200 year drought.”
Among those sharing their stories will be former Cross Brothers Butchery owner, Colin Crequer. His business closed because of trade loses in aftermath of the earthquake.
Local business woman Judy Tardi will also speak on how the earthquake has affected her export business.
The meeting will also be attended by Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker and local MPs.
It will take place at CPIT’s Maori Studies facility, Te Puna Wanaka, on the corner of Coventry and Williams Streets at 7.30am on Friday. All media are welcome.
For more information: Mathew Carpenter: Phone 03 374 5666 Mobile 027 437 7649