The recent changes to COVID-19 Alert Levels have really driven home the fact that Napier’s resilience during this pandemic is so dependent on what happens beyond our immediate back yard.
After we emerged from lockdown, we as a Council felt that it was important to make funding available to help our city increase its resilience to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
So we launched our Recovery Projects Fund, which opened on 1 July. This fund provides a total of $500,000 to help Napier businesses and community organisations with projects that will boost our city’s economy and enhance our people’s wellbeing. Applications are still open, so we’re keen to hear from you if you have an idea for an immediate project, or for a longer term strategy. You might have a proposal for a new way of doing business, a new collaboration, or something that meets a new need.
I’m pleased to say that we have been able to support a number of groups already.
LIFT Social Enterprise has received the biggest share of the funding so far, with $80,000 granted to launch a youth enterprise hub that will mostly work with local unemployed youth to help them create jobs using their own business ideas.
Business consultancy The Icehouse was granted $20,000 to run planning workshops for Napier businesses, designed to help them answer the questions “why are we in business” and “what are we trying to achieve” to redefine their future and purpose.
SongHubs Aotearoa is bringing its songwriting collaborative event to Hawke’s Bay for the first time, with a grant of just under $10,000. This is an amazing opportunity to connect talented Hawke’s Bay songwriters with other creators across the New Zealand music industry, with the outcome of original songs being written and important relationships with industry leaders being formed to help our local songwriters to continue to flourish.
We granted $40,000 to the Napier Theatre Company, who will establish a new theatre company in our CBD to make the arts financially accessible to all and provide training in the performing arts. This company will have a strong focus on youth. There will be the added benefit of people coming into the central city to watch performances and also support our bars and restaurants.
A total of $10,500 has been granted to Napier City Business Inc. for two projects. One is to create a marketing video promoting Napier CBD retail stores and eateries, and also funding to help support the very successful ‘Buy Local, Win Local’ promotion that ran recently.
The Hawke’s Bay Readers and Writers Charitable Trust were granted $4,000, enabling Napier to host four events that are part of Hawke’s Bay Readers and Writers Week in October.
As you can see there has been a variety of successful applications so far which all demonstrated at least one of the six goals we have in our pandemic Recovery Plan:
- Everyone has access to safe drinking water, food and housing;
- We are healthy and active;
- Our businesses and not-for-profit organisations are resilient and innovative;
- Our city centre and local centres are vibrant and sustainable;
- Our community is safe, fair, connected, and resilient; and,
- Renewal of our city respects, protects and celebrates our cultural heritage and environment.
I encourage you to go to our website and find out if your idea might qualify for funding – use the search term #recovery. We’ll be assessing applications until the fund is allocated, or no later than June 2021. I look forward to seeing more ideas to make our beautiful city thrive in these challenging and unpredictable times.
Kia kotahi tātau o Ahuriri nei – We are TEAM NAPIER