The creation of a Hawke’s Bay Business Hub in Hastings is a step closer to reality with the Hastings District Council last week approving a proposal to fund a trial hub.
Business Hawke’s Bay has collaborated with Hastings District Council on the concept to extend the successful Hawke’s Bay Business Hub in Ahuriri, establishing a Hastings base to give easier access to support services for Hastings businesses.
The aim is to provide a dedicated place for businesses to meet with agencies such as Business Hawke’s Bay, Regional Business Partners, Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand Food Innovation Network, Business Central, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and The Icehouse, with Hub members able to pre-book space to work from, or to meet with businesses.
Council’s operations and monitoring committee last week approved funding $90,000 towards the pilot; $70,000 from its COVID-19 recovery fund and $20,000 from the existing Economic Development fund.
Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the initiative was a fantastic opportunity for Hastings’ small business community.
“We have close to 10,000 businesses in our district who through a Hawke’s Bay Business Hub in Hastings, will get direct access to support agencies, which will be particularly valuable given the challenges they are facing post-COVID-19.
“With a large number of Hastings people on jobseeker benefits – we need to have a way to support these businesses to get the best professional advice so they can be successful and employ people.”
Business Hawke’s Bay CEO, Carolyn Neville said: “Hawke’s Bay Business Hub Hastings was already a key deliverable for BHB under Pou 4 Economic Growth of Matariki Hawke’s Bay Regional Development Strategy – specifically to strengthen the enterprise support ecosystem across the region.
“Hawke’s Bay Business Hub in Hastings is planned to be part of a wider geographical presence for Hawke’s Bay Business Hub (under a hub and spoke model) in the region as we work towards a Business Hub presence in Waipukurau, Wairoa and at the planned FoodEast Innovation Hub.“
The pilot programme will operate from October this year to June 2021, with the aim being to initially lease a space for the pop-up hub in the Tribune precinct at 209 Queen St East.
The aim of delivering a Hawke’s Bay Business Hub in Hastings is to enable establishment of service delivery in a very timely way, drawing on learnings from management and activation of the Hawke’s Bay Business Hub Ahuriri and to ascertain ongoing demand levels and needs.
Update from Hastings District Council and Business Hawke’s Bay – 25 September 2020