Business Connect episode 21 - Cheryl Eldridge

Cheryl Eldridge

Cheryl Eldridge and her late husband are proven entrepreneurs. 30 years ago they realised their Wairarapa sheep station was marginal at best, and bought a flock of grey sheep, now registered as a NZ wool breed in their own right, ‘Stansborough Greys’. Combined with the alpacas they also run, the wool from these sheep makes a unique fibre.

But they didn’t stop there. The Eldridges built a business that is vertically integrated from farm to design to factory in Petone – using looms that came out to New Zealand in the 1900s – to distribution.

Called Stansborough, after the farm, the label is now recognised worldwide. But like all businesses, the shock of going into lockdown has caused stresses. For episode 21 of Business Connect, we spoke to Cheryl Eldridge to see how Stansborough is faring.

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Business Connect episode 20 - David Downer

David Downer

Episode 20 of Business Connect looks at D-Fluff. Most people would have seen one of their bright red vehicles parked somewhere over the past nine years, installing or removing insulation from Wellington to the Waiarapa, Wanganui, Fielding, Palmerston North and the Kapiti Coast.

All that came to a halt when the lockdown was announced. With employees to consider, the first thing owner David Downer did was apply for the wage subsidy. And apply. And apply. When we spoke to him, he was awaiting the outcome of his third try.

D-Fluff received the correct wage subsidy a day after this interview was recorded – 17 days after New Zealand first went into lockdown and around a month after the payment was introduced, but this interview tells of the confusion and stress many employers faced in receiving it.

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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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