Xero New Zealand country manager Bridget Snelling. Photo / Supplied
Bay of Plenty small business sales, jobs and wages remain “solid” after a challenging few years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, new data shows.
New Zealand-based software company Xero has released a special Small Business
Insights update, which has been compiled from anonymised and aggregated small business data for the Bay of Plenty.
It comes as the region hosted The Xero Roadshow: Tiny Edition in Rotorua, Whakatane, and Tauranga last week, providing support for small business owners and bookkeepers alike with questions about how best to manage their businesses.
The data showed Bay of Plenty small business jobs rose 5.8 per cent year-on-year in September 2022. Sales also grew 5.2 per cent over the same period. However, this was less than the national average of 14.8 per cent year-on-year.
Xero New Zealand country manager Bridget Snelling said this was a solid result for the region, following a challenging few years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Job growth in the Bay of Plenty has been behind the national average since early 2021, which is likely a reflection of the region’s reliance on agriculture and the lack of international workers being available due to closed international borders,” she said.
“Despite this, Bay of Plenty sales have remained steady, aligning closely with the national average until the recent drop this month. This is something to keep an eye on as local small businesses navigate the current economic challenges.”
Additionally, small businesses in the region experienced solid wage growth (+5.2 per cent year-on-year) and were also paid slightly faster (22.7 days) than the national average.
During 2022, wages again edged above the national average. Snelling said this reflected the region’s construction intensity, which had one of the fastest-growing wages of any industry.
Snelling said the month’s job trend (5.8 per cent year-on-year) isn’t new, as Bay of Plenty jobs have generally tracked behind the national average throughout the pandemic. This result has been underpinned by the lack of international workers being available due to border closures, she said.
With strong ties to a range of important sectors, including construction, agriculture, healthcare, and real estate, the Bay’s diversified economy has ensured that sales in the region remained aligned with the national average throughout the pandemic, she said.
“The figures for Bay of Plenty’s small business community throughout the pandemic demonstrates how the local economy was able to withstand the challenging Covid-19 restrictions.”
Snelling said heading into summer, it was important for the local community to continue supporting small businesses in the Bay.
“Whether it’s shopping locally or paying your invoices on time, we must continue to make an effort to go out and support our small businesses wherever possible.”
$25,000 donated to Wish4Fish
Wish4Fish charity founder Bryce Dinneen was blown away to be presented with a $25,000 donation from the team building the new Winstone Wallboards plant in Tauriko.
The donation – from Fletcher Construction, Winstone Wallboards, and other on-site contractors – was made following a presentation Dinneen gave at its end-of-year health and safety meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to encourage the team to take its work-based focus on health and wellbeing home with them over the summer.
Dinneen was someone with first-hand experience of why that’s such an important message. He suffered a high-level spinal injury during a shallow-water diving incident in 2007, and has since founded the “Wish4Fish” charity to give people with a physical or mental disability the chance to go fishing on special wheelchair-accessible boats.
Dineen said he was very inspired by the event.
“Like Fletcher Construction, I’m a massive advocate of health and wellbeing, whether it’s on the water or on the land. The team on the project was very engaging, and I had some great conversations after my presentation”.
He said the $25,000 donation will make a huge difference.
“We budget around $250 per person to take people with physical or mental disabilities out on the water, so their donation will help 100 people have that experience along with their caregivers, which is incredible”.
Site health and safety manager Todd Pearce said they closed the site for the meeting, and had around 220 people gathered to hear Dineen. Pearce said the talk touched on some amazing topics.
“It was a really emotional talk. The guys were really touched with what Bryce had to say, and I know his safety message has really hit home for them. I hope what he’s shared helps to keep them all safe over their summer holidays.”
Flexible work options at The Hatch
A new commercial hub including 38 office spaces is being built in Mount Maunganui.
Construction of The Hatch at 24-32 MacDonald St in the Mount is set to get under way in mid-2023, and real estate salespeople are expecting a “very high” level of interest in the development.
The development will comprise 38 units ranging in size from 60sq m to 106sq m and will be organised into four blocks with a large car park at the rear of the site.
Colliers Tauranga brokers Simon Clark and Rob Schoeser have been appointed to market The Hatch, which has been designed by Matt Allen from Cube Architecture.
The units have been priced from $754,000 plus GST.
Clark, managing director at Colliers Tauranga, said the units will provide a future-focused workspace for businesses who want to optimise their productivity.
“Like its sister development in Pāpāmoa, The Hatch – Mount is an innovative, design-led precinct that fuses commercial and light industrial into hybrid workspaces perfect for forward-thinking businesses.
“Whether you’re setting up a new venture, looking for more versatile premises, or simply need somewhere to store your toys, The Hatch – The Mount offers a unique solution at a competitive price point.”
Schoeser, a commercial and industrial sales broker at Colliers Tauranga, said units at the unique development have just hit the market.
“We’re expecting a very high level of interest.”
Te Puke teacher takes Navy teachings to school
Bay of Plenty teacher Bayley Macdonald has found lessons from her naval reservist training translate well to the school classroom.
Ordinary Maritime Trade Operator (OMTO) Macdonald is one of 24 officers and ratings undertaking the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Naval Reserve Common Training programme this year.
The course is designed to ensure reservists are trained to the same standard as their regular force counterparts while working around their civilian employment.
Macdonald, who teaches at Te Puke Intermediate School, was inspired to join up after her partner talked to her class about his work in the Army Reserve Force.
“They were really fascinated, and I thought of what opportunities we could provide the students. It could be something for me.”
She initially looked at joining the New Zealand Army, but decided the Navy was “way cooler”.
“I don’t know any Navy personnel. I went into this blind, and I didn’t know much about the trade.”
Macdonald and her fellow ratings will train as Maritime Trade Operators (MTO) after graduating from basic training in December. MTOs are the liaison between maritime industries and the New Zealand Defence Force ashore and at sea.
Those training as officers will specialise in roles similar to their day jobs, in areas such as medicine, law and public affairs.
As part of the course, which began in February, trainees have attended 10-day residential phases staying at Auckland’s Devonport Naval Base. Macdonald takes part in online learning, and once a week heads to reserve unit HMNZS Ngapona in Tauranga for parade night.
MacDonald has applied some of what she has learned in the Navy to her day job, including teaching the concept of ‘lead self’ to the hockey team she coaches. She said it was about students accepting responsibility to support their own development, and growing into people who can lead others.
“We get the kids to lead a lot of things, and then come back and report that they are done and ask what happens next. We teach them that everything is done for a purpose and a reason. I’m not making them do drills just yet, but we do walk in straight lines around the school.”
The ratings will take part in a Devonport passing-out parade with the officers who graduate in April.
“I don’t know where this is going to take me. But I would love to deploy and get experience serving on a ship.”
Rangiuru Business Park: Interchange begins construction
Work is about to being on the Rangiuru Business Park Interchange Project for Quayside Properties Ltd.
The future interchange site is located about 6 kilometres east of the Pāpāmoa East Interchange already under construction on the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road (TELTR). Initial activity this summer will focus on earthmoving to construct the on- and off-ramps, and work will start on the overbridge.
There will be minimal disruption to the TELTR over the next four weeks. Further traffic management on the TELTR will be required to undertake future stages of the project. The timing and impact of these traffic management requirements will be communicated in due course.
The Rangiuru Business Park will provide 148 hectares of high-quality, modern, and connected industrial space, providing opportunities for businesses wanting to relocate or expand. The Park’s prime position leverages demand for quality industrial space as part of the Golden Triangle as well as central North Island links with Whakatāne, Rotorua and Taupō, with possible connections by road, rail, and sea.
In a media statement, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency said as it celebrates moving to this new stage for the Rangiuru Business Park, it acknowledged the support of all of its stakeholders, including the $18 million grant from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) that was announced in 2020 to fund the construction of this interchange connecting the Park with the TELTR.
“We’re pleased that work is beginning on the interchange project, a critical piece of infrastructure required for the development of the Rangiuru Business Park.”
Western Bay of Plenty District Council continues to lend its strong support to the development project, stating “construction of the Rangiuru Business Park will create up to 4000 high-quality jobs and provide a vital link between the eastern and western Bay of Plenty.”
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