On Friday 9 April the very first Small Business Day in Aotearoa was held to show support for our small business community after an incredibly tough financial year for them.
This time last year, small businesses found themselves in what has been one of the worst scenarios small businesses could have imagined for themselves. Xero’s Small Business Insights data showed that revenue dropped almost 40% in April 2020 during the Alert Level 4 lockdown in New Zealand.
But the impact wasn’t just on revenue. COVID-19 impacted our small business’ livelihoods, their families and their wellbeing.
Despite lockdowns and uncertain business conditions, I’ve been heartened by the resilience our small businesses have shown in the wake of COVID-19. Small Business Day is about giving Kiwis the chance to give back and show them some aroha.
Resilience in the face of adversity
I spent Small Business Day visiting just a handful of local businesses that have hustled to get through the past year.
My first stop was to see Dean and Deonne of Olliff Farm. Before the global pandemic hit, they supplied major restaurants and cafes around Auckland with their fresh free-range eggs. When NZ went into lockdown, their business model was made redundant. So, they embraced ecommerce to survive and keep selling their eggs. With a campaign to ‘Save our Girls’ they flipped to selling their eggs to consumers instead of restaurants, and found themselves meeting an overwhelming demand of the general public.
The team at Olliff Farm could continue providing fresh eggs daily through an online store, maintaining a revenue stream. Because they were so quick to adapt, they are now operating with two revenue streams and their business has grown as a result. Dean and Deonne capture everything that small business is about – the dream, the grit, the emotional ups and downs and the resilience to keep going.
Next, I went to get some new wax for my surfboards at Underground Surf & Skate. They had already embraced ecommerce and invested in tech to streamline processes pre-Covid. Nick and his team have always given back to the local community, and they make it a better place for me and my family. So it was awesome to give his business a boost from local shoppers during Small Business Day.
A huge thank you to everyone who supported this initiative including Manaaki, Indigo, Chooice, and the Xero crew.
And it isn’t over yet! Small businesses need our continued support to make this financial year better than the last. It doesn’t have to be a massive contribution, it can be as small as grabbing a morning coffee. Every bit counts.
Congratulations to Kaadobakes for winning a year’s subscription to Xero! And our five lucky small business winners who will be getting $10,000 cash for their small business are Ruby Rock-it Studio, Mount Longboards, Pikopiko Eatery, Grandpa Simpson’s Collectibles and Heavenly Havoc.
To all the small business owners, I hope you were shown some love this Small Business Day, and don’t forget there’s lots of support available – here are just a few places to check out:
- Manaaki U is offering the chance for one small business owner to win $10,000, plus a whole heap of support.
- Chooice is an epic place for small Kiwi businesses to sell their products.
- Digital Boost is where small business owners can get the online skills they need to succeed, for free.
- Follow Xero and Small Business Day NZ on Facebook to keep your finger on the pulse of relevant small business updates.