9 November 2011

Earthquake Appeal Trust funds ethnic businesses project

The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust has announced funding of $120,000 for the Canterbury Business Association (CBA) to provide a programme of training and mentoring services to quake-hit ethnic businesses in Canterbury.

This project will address challenges ethnic businesses are facing in returning to business after the earthquakes. It’s part of the Trust’s economic revitalisation funding category, which seeks to remove barriers and enable communities to participate in a vibrant and sustainable economy which provides ongoing employment.

“The Trust recognised that there is additional need for ethnic business owners facing language and cultural barriers through the recovery process,” says Jane Huria, chair of the Trust’s Advisory Board.

“The Canterbury Business Association has used its grassroots connections with Chinese, Korean, Indian and Japanese ethnic communities to identify needs and develop a tailored proactive support programme.”

Support services on offer include business clinics, seminars, language assistance and networking sessions. Assistance and coaching is also available over the phone, and clients can be connected with a coordinator who speaks their language.

Project manager Taz Mukorombindo hopes the programme will reach 100 ethnic business owners over the next year.

“The CBA is proud to be collaborating with business leaders from different ethnic groups. Our coordinators will provide one-on-one support and connect business owners to appropriate existing support services, such as the services offered by Recover Canterbury,” says Mr Mukorombindo.

Ethnic business owners can sign up by phoning 03 379 4222.

This is the third funding announcement from the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust for projects supporting economic revitalisation in Canterbury. The Trust has also funded:

  • $1 million towards the Westpac Business and Community Hub to ensure 25% service provision for non-profit organisations; and
  • $3.36 million (interest free loan) to Restart the Heart to make the City Mall possible.