News | 25 March 2022

Business support fund launched

Wellington City Council and the Government are coming together to support inner-city Wellington businesses who lost significant revenue due to the illegal occupation at Parliament grounds, with a $1.2 million business relief fund.

Parliament lawn brown and damaged after the protest occupation.

Businesses in the area surrounding Parliament that experienced a drop of 50 percent or more in their revenue during the period of the occupation can apply. Each business will be eligible for a maximum of $30,000 as a one-off payment. 

Mayor Andy Foster says businesses in the area have experienced the double blow of the occupation and the impacts of the Omicron outbreak.

“Research we conducted showed an average 55 percent drop in revenue* amongst businesses in the area during the three-week occupation. And they’re still struggling to recover due to the decline in people visiting the central city due the Omicron outbreak.

“These businesses are essential to the vitality of our city. We want them to survive and be here when workers, residents and visitors return in decent numbers once again.”

“I have a great deal of sympathy for the plight of businesses who were significantly impacted and who experienced additional costs as a result of the illegal occupation.” said Stuart Nash.

“This targeted fund will be a welcome relief for those businesses most impacted by the occupation, who are already doing it tough in these challenging times.”

In the past, government has used contributions to Mayoral Relief Funds or Disaster Relief Funds to provide assistance in response to localised adverse events or emergencies. Mayoral Relief Funds provide an additional way to help communities bounce back after an emergency. 

In line with previous contributions to council-led response funds, the Government is contributing $200,000. The City Council is investing $1 million in the fund.

The Parliament Occupation Business Relief Fund follows on from a $2.3 million Pandemic Response Package released by the Council last month. This includes $1 weeknight and weekend parking (which launched this week), free outdoor ‘parklet’ dining licenses, $1 alcohol and food annual license fees and rent relief for businesses in Council-owned buildings.

There is also investment being made by the City Council in events and marketing campaigns to attract people back into the city.

The City Council will determine the eligibility criteria for the Wellington Business Relief Fund and ensure the funds reach the businesses most in need.

More information for the Parliament Occupation Business Relief Fund can be viewed here.