22 September 2011

Earthquake Appeal Trust supports Business and Community Hub

The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust has announced funding of $1 million towards the Westpac Business and Community Hub (the Westpac Hub), which was formally launched in Addington today.

“The Trustees were keen to support this project and ensure that the support services being proposed were provided free of charge and were offered to smaller non-profit groups as well as businesses,” says Trustee Rod Carr.

“Our contribution has ensured that 25 per cent of bookings will be available to the non-profit sector.”

Already more than 2000 people have used the Westpac Hub facilities. Non-profit organisations signed up include the Child Cancer Foundation and Epilepsy New Zealand.

“This is an excellent option for those organisations that have been displaced to continue their day-to-day operations. Facilities available onsite include office space, broadband, photocopying, video conferencing and a corporate lounge.

“The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust has a category of funding dedicated to economic revitalisation. Our priority in this area is to support major initiatives that allow businesses to survive and recover, with an emphasis on employment.”

A $3.5 million interest free loan has already been granted in this category to support the Restart the Heart initiative, which will see temporary retail hubs operating in Cashel Mall. These premises will be available to displaced central city businesses and is expected to be operating by November.

More funding announcements from the Trust are expecting in the coming months. Almost $100 million has been raised from donations to date.