The Westpac Business Growth Grants roadshow has come to a close, travelling the country as part of a nation-wide focus to help small to medium (SME) size businesses that have plans to grow.
The Roadshow was headed by Duncan Garner (host of the RadioLive Drive show, 3pm-6pm), who spoke with mayors, local business people, influencers, and members of the public to tap the economic pulse of the country outside Auckland.
One part of the roadshow was awarding select business owners a $10,000 digital marketing package from Ora by saying where they want to take their business digitally. 4 Kiwi SMEs have already been announced as winners and Duncan announced on air the 5th and final recipient as Dunedin’s Payless Energy.
Radek Mierzejewski started Payless Energy in 2010 with the aim of providing people a cheaper and 100% local alternative to the big power companies. After spending about 3 years getting it ready, they launched in 2013 and today have about 500 customers, and continue to grow by the rate of one new customer a day.
“It’s amazing the number of supporters we’ve received. The local support, the enthusiasm, the positivity that something like this creates is amazing and it’s a joy to come to work.”
Radek says that while they can offer cheaper power (they haven't increased their prices for over 3 years), there’s much more to why people chose them.
“When you think about it from a margin perspective, yes we’re providing cheaper but it’s not a huge saving, $200 to $400 a year. For people whose every dollar counts, it’s important, but it’s more than that.
“It’s about giving back to the community, because every single dollar that people spend with us stays in the Dunedin community. That bill that people pay supports a local company, local jobs. We employ local people.”
The $10,000 digital marketing package from Ora, Payless Energy will be better equipped to spread the word of their cost effective services to the benefit of local SMEs and the wider economy.
Westpac Business Growth Grants finalists named soon
Applications have closed and the judges are busy reviewing the entries, narrowing it down to the Top 10 businesses, who will be notified via email during the week commencing 17 August 2015.
These 10 businesses will receive up to one day’s worth of free business consultancy across a variety of chosen topics.
After that the top 6 finalists will be invited to attend the Nurture Change Business Retreat in Fiji on 11-15 November where they can take time out to focus working on their business with a range of experts and business leaders including Sir Graham Henry and Victoria Crone, MD Xero
On Thursday 27 August, the overall winner will be announced and receive a $40,000 Westpac Business Growth Grant and $10,000 worth of advertising.