Loans up to $50K to help businesses

Development West Coast (DWC) has offered South Westland businesses loans of up to $50,000 to help ease the pain of border closures.

The loans form part of a $5 million relief package from DWC for the wider glacier area.

After DWC agreed to release the money, Glacier Country Tourism Group consulted with the community on how it could best be spent.

DWC said yesterday trustees had approved the money for businesses between Whataroa and Lake Moeraki.

A maximum of $50,000 will be offered to eligible businesses through cashflow support. Applications for the assistance will open on April 1 and close on April 12.

"The $5million Glacier Country Business Support Fund is a significant initiative that will help many businesses in our region to access additional funds to help them to survive," Glacier Country Tourism Group co-chairmen Rob Jewell and Richard Benton said.

"We urgently need our borders to safely reopen to overseas visitors and we are all looking forward to the time when the Covid-19 pandemic's impact on our local business community has diminished."

DWC chief executive Heath Milne said 62% of jobs had already been lost in the glacier towns and, without additional support, 67% of businesses would close in the next six months.

Greymouth Star

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