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Retaining existing businesses and industries in the Waitaki district and determining what impediments there are to expansion is the subject of a survey being undertaken by the Waitaki Development Board.
"While there is a tendency to focus on attracting new businesses, you also have to make sure existing businesses stay here and expand," board chairman Peter Robinson said yesterday about the survey.
Since September, the board has been surveying the top 30 employers in the district. These ranged from the large employers - the Alliance Group's Pukeuri freezing works and Macraes gold mine - through to others employing 25 or 30 staff.
It is about two-thirds through the project and expects to have it completed by the end of June.
Already, it has been able to help businesses. It assisted one which was facing a huge cost to install an electricity line and another having difficulties employing an immigrant.
Mr Robinson said in the past the board had focused on attracting new businesses, but had not looked closely at existing businesses.