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Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Auckland are set to benefit from a partnership between national and local government launched this week.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and the Ministry of Research, Science and Innovation (MSI) have appointed Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Ltd (ATEED) to their network of 14 Regional Business Partners.

Regional business partners work to support business growth and innovation in their regions.

ATEED’s capability consultants will be the first point of contact for businesses seeking government assistance.

The consultants will work with local businesses and provide a range of advice, access to funding and support focused on assisting them to grow their business. Support includes:

 A assessment of needs to direct businesses to appropriate information, advice, and support

 Allocation of NZTE Capability Development Vouchers to eligible small businesses for use as partial payment for management capability building services

 Research and development funding via MSI’s programme of funds and services.

“The Auckland Plan outlines ambitious economic goals including annual export growth targets,” says Clyde Rogers, Manager of Business and Sector Development at ATEED.

“Collaboration with partners like NZTE and MSI will help Auckland businesses build capability and further innovate to achieve these goals.

“Our knowledge of the local business community means we are an ideal first point of contact for businesses wanting to develop.”

Having a nationwide network of regional business partners will make it easier for businesses to access early-stage support from both NZTE and MSI, as well as business services and information provided by other government agencies and private organisations.

Hamish Campbell, MSI’s Manager of Investment Services, said MSI had invested $7.1 million in hundreds of companies nationwide over the past two years, and the success of its partner network had contributed to the idea to form a joint network of Regional Business Partners with NZTE.

“The new network builds on what we’ve learned, and the expertise we’ve gained, from the previous Regional Partner Network. The model is one that small and medium-sized businesses responded well to,” Campbell says.

NZTE General Manager Products and Services, Hans Frauenlob, said it was great that Auckland had recognised the opportunity the Regional Business Partner model represented in terms of offering local businesses an integrated point of contact for business development support.

“I’m sure our Regional Business Partners will have the local influence to encourage businesses to develop their management capability, to use information services, and to undertake research and development – all of which is critical to both their development and to the growth of our economy,” Frauenlob said.

Auckland businesses wanting to find out more about the Regional Business Partner Network can contact an ATEED office closest to them:

Central Auckland – 09 301 7570 North Auckland – 09 414 1341 South Auckland – 09 262 2244 West Auckland – 09 837 1855

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