South Canterbury COVID-19 Support Team Business Assistance

The South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce is the official South Canterbury Covid-19 Response Team for business advice and funding support. 

This page brings together information relating to COVID-19, how it may affect your business and how you can stay up to date as new information becomes available.

The Government has a number of their agencies who may be able to assist business and we appreciate that if you are having difficulty you may not know which Government department you should contact for support.

CONTACT THE SOUTH CANTERBURY CHAMBER: +64 3 687 2733 or email your contact details to: 

COVID-19 Update

We are now in Alert Level 1.

While we are in Alert Level 1, this means COVID-19 is contained in Aotearoa New Zealand but Government reinforced that we still need to be ready in case the virus reappears in the community. It is still important to maintain good hygiene, practice your social distancing, continue to provide your QR poster to enable the public to keep track of where they have been and employees are being reminded to stay home if they are unwellClick here for a reminder of what Alert Level 1 looks like.

Regional Business Partner Programme

The COVID-19 Business Advisory Fund is administered through the South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce via the Regional Business Partner Network (RBP).

The Government has allocated additional funding to support businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic

Businesses will need to register on the RBP website, and if eligible, owners can access funding from the COVID-19 Business Advisory Fund, for the following services:

    • HR & Employee Relations and Legal
    • Financial and Cashflow Management
    • Health and Wellness
    • Business Continuity Planning
    • Marketing Strategy
    • Digital Enablement Strategy.

This funding can be used with a range of registered providers and is 100% funded

For more information please contact Fiona Stevens on 03 687 2733 or by email at

The Tourism Transitions Programme

The Tourism Transitions Programme is a fund administered through the South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce via the Regional Business Partner Network (RBP).

This fund is currently fully allocated in the South Canterbury region. Tourism businesses may be able to access the Covid-19 as above. 

Venture Timaru Professional Services Grants (PSG)

Business assessment, service matching and administration by the South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce.

To support the Timaru District’s small-medium enterprises (SMEs) affected by the impacts of COVID-19, a $400 grant has been made available by Venture Timaru.

The grant enables Timaru SMEs to access professional advice and support from local business specialists, as they navigate the impacts of Covid-19.

Businesses will receive an additional $400 of support, thanks to the Advisors’ own contribution of time, providing a total of up to $800 of professional services advice.

The PSG sits alongside the Regional Business Partner (RBP) funding for Timaru District businesses that are unable to access RBP support or require a lesser amount of advice/support.

Find out more here

COVID-19 Resources

Business Support:

  • Business Debt HibernationBusiness debt hibernation helps companies and other entities affected by COVID-19 manage their existing debts until they can start trading normally again. For example, businesses may agree with creditors to delay repaying some of their debt.

Contact Tracing:

  • Contact tracing for COVID-19 - Contact tracing for COVID-19 Information about how the Ministry of Health and district health boards trace contacts of identified cases.

Export Advice:

  • NZTE: Advice for exporters - This site is a resource for New Zealand exporters to help them mitigate the impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Immigration Advice:

  • NEW - COVID-19 Financial Support Tool

  • Immigration New Zealand COVID-19 Guidance – information and Key Updates about Visas, temporary border measures, isolation procedures, travel and essential service support for all travellers, Visa holders, migrant workers and employers.

  • Employer-assisted Work Visas extended by 6 months.
    Employed holders of certain Visas expiring from 1st January 2021 to 30 June 2021 will be able to stay and work longer  Details here.

  • Migrant and refugee information pageThis page contains information for Settlement service providers, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), community groups, or individuals who work with or know recent migrants and/or former refugees. This information may also be useful for employers of migrants and former refugees who want to support their employees with the latest information about Covid-19 in a variety of languages.

  • Emergency benefit for Temporary Visa holders – if you can’t work, support yourself or return home due to COVID-19 an Emergency Benefit may be available through Work & Income from 1 December 2020 to 28 February 2021

General Information:

View Webinars - The South Canterbury COVID-19 Response Team is bringing all businesses FREE Online Workshops that you can either join remotely or watch on-demand.

Promote your business on the South Canterbury Market Place regional website.