Business Connect episode 19 - Brett Nicholls

Brett Nicholls

Prior to being required to close down, The Chocolate Story in Petone was doing so well from in-store sales that it didn’t need a website and so has no capacity for online ordering.

When it shut its doors with just a few days’ notice, owner Brett Nicholls was forced to leave thousands of dollars worth of perishable chocolates sitting on the shelves with no way to sell it. In episode 19 of Business Connect, we ask whether this unique and popular business will be able to survive to service the region’s chocolate lovers.

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Business Connect episode 18 - Lisa cameron

Lisa cameron

No movement of non-essential goods was allowed during Level 4, which made it hard for firms like Hire Me Movers, whose fleet of vans are usually on the road all day shifting everything from entire households to single packages, and which is the focus of episode 18 of Business Connect.

Even under Level 3, most of their work will remain pretty much impossible, and owner Lisa Cameron says though they will open from 1 May, the business is still lacking formal information other than social distancing and sanitizing, and keeping contact tracing details.

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Business Connect episode 17 - Geoff Walmsley

Geoff Walmsley

Wellington company Penrose Data has released the results of a survey which shows that more than half of all Kiwis are no longer confident in their financial stability, and more than 90 percent intend to delay expensive purchases like vehicles, property, computers, appliances or furniture. So not good news for business.

The research was done in two stages – the week prior to the lockdown and then again the week after.

In episode 17 of Business Connect, we spoke to the company’s CEO Geoff Walmsley – who is stuck in the Netherlands waiting for travel restrictions to ease.

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Business Connect episode 16 - Christina Hall

Christina Hall

Last year’s winner in the Wellington Region Business Excellence Awards for Excellence in Retail, Waiwhetu business Cupcake Sweeties usually sells cakes along with cake making and decorating supplies, and conducts in store classes.

Despite what many people might think, cakes are not an essential, so the business has been entirely closed during Level 4 lockdown, despite having online ordering. For episode 16 of Business Connect, we spoke to the owner, Christina Hall.

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Business Connect episode 15 - Jeff Brass

Jeff Brass

A local commercial photography company, Think Photography takes photos of buildings, people in buildings, vehicles, equipment, heavy machinery, construction… all sorts of things that require being out and about with a camera and their own equipment.

But with nothing happening under Level 4, and very little additional activity under Level 3 – and most companies probably thinking about reducing their marketing budgets – what does the future hold? For episode 15 of Business Connect, we spoke to co-owner Jeff Brass.

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Business Connect episode 14 - Shaun Rolston

Shaun Rolston

A marquee and event hire company which derives its income from weddings and corporate events like the Wairarapa Harvest Festival, Upper Hutt business Happy Hire has been operating for about six years and has three full time staff.

With no public gatherings allowed under Level 4 or 3, in episode 14 of Business Connect we ask part owner and local manager Shaun Rolston how he sees its prospects

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Business Connect episode 13 - Pania Tucker

Pania Tucker

Pania Tucker is a talented local designer who makes both clothing and homeware. She employs both part timers and casual staff and manufactures at her home, selling through local stores as well as her own website.

With overheads low, and easily able to be reduced when locked down, the business is perhaps better able than most to weather a period of being unable to operate. But when restrictions are eased, it’s unlikely that designer-made clothes – even those made locally – will be very high. In episode 13 of business connection, we ask Pania how she sees the long term future, and what she's doing now.

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Business Connect episode 12 - Fraser Wilkinson

Fraser Wilkinson

Manage My Rental looks after just under 350 properties around the region. The Uppper Hutt-based business was set up by Fraser Wilkinson about 19 years ago, so it’s survived the global financial crisis. But under lockdown, a property manager can’t visit a rental, show people an empty rental, or in fact deal with tenants face-to-face in any way at all. Meanwhile, landlords can’t get rid of tenants, even if they’re vandalising the property, and tenants are increasingly unable to pay their rent.

In episode 12 of Business Connect, we find out how Fraser's coping.

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Business Connect episode 11 - Alan Campbell

Alan Campbell

Although vital to winter safety, avoiding chimney fires by having them swept is not listed as an essential service. Even under Level 3, entering a home to clean a chimney would be forbidden.

In episode 11 of Business Connect, we find that owners of chimney sweeping businesses like Chimney Magic’s Alan Campbell have been given no guidance as to whether they’re allowed to operate, leaving them in legal limbo.

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Business Connect episode 10 - Belinda Devlin

Belinda Devlin

Occupying the area formerly known as Kaitoke Country Gardens Aston Norwood, is a wedding and function venue on 14 acres of beautiful gardens in Upper Hutt.

But with groups no longer allowed to gather – and that likely being the case for quite some time – how will this business survive? For episode 10 of Business Connect, we spoke to manager Belinda Devlin.

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