$10,000 digital boost for North Island SMEs

Ryan Boyd
$10,000 digital boost for North Island SMEs

Westpac has just wrapped up the North Island leg of their SME forums, rolling out the $250,000 Business Growth Grant programme in conjunction with RadioLive and TV3 broadcaster Duncan Garner’s Grass Roots Road Trip.

At each of After 5 forums in Dunedin, Christchurch, New Plymouth and Hamilton one lucky business owner won a $10,000 digital marketing package to improve their online presence.

SEE ALSO: South Island SMEs get digital jump start


Brownson Jewellers Ltd

Brownson Jewellers Ltd

L-R: Duncan Garner, Wayne Brownson, Julian Miller (Ora), and Damian Sharkey (Westpac SME Lead)

A New Plymouth institution, Brownson Jewellers has been owned by the Brownson family for 89 years and counting.

The only way to stay in business that long is to be adaptable to change and nowadays that means technology. Their recent investment in a 3D printer shows how they embrace change rather than fight it.

The $10,000 digital marketing package will be used to refresh the company logo, update their website, and assist in the promotion of new online kiosks.

Co-owner Wayne Brownson is excited to be working with Ora to help achieve these milestones.

“Small business isn’t how it used to be. 40 years ago you did everything yourself, you can’t do it all anymore. You need to use other people to help you. And it’s not always the cheap option but if you want to improve you need to seek expert help.”


Forgotten World Adventures Ltd

Waikato winner

L-R: Hamish Ward (Westpac Area Manager), Duncan Garner, Rachel Balme, Julian Miller, Michael Durning (CEO Waikato Chamber of Commerce), and Damian Sharkey

Riding modified golf carts along a decommissioned railway? Now that is something different.

After cycling the famous Otago Rail Trail, Ian Balme was inspired to turn the unused rail line on the Forgotten World Highway in Taumaranui into a tourism attraction.

With the help of a friend who imported golf carts, a few prototypes later Forgotten World Adventures was launched.

Forgotten World Adventures are currently working on a project capturing the fascinating history and stories of people in the remote King Country/Taranaki region. The $10,000 Ora digital marketing package will be used to bring these stories to life via videos on their website and incorporating them into their brand.

Rachel, Ian's wife who accepted the award, also mentioned that she would love to see if Forgotten World Adventures can “crack” the social media market for 55+ year olds and are looking forward to working with Ora to achieve that. 

SEE ALSO: South Island SMEs get digital jump start


Apply for a Westpac Business Growth Grant

The Business Growth Grants programme offers businesses the opportunity to secure consultancy services such as legal and accounting advice, attend a business leadership retreat and conference in Fiji with NurtureChange, and one business will secure a $40,000 cash investment and a $10,000 digital advertising package.

The programme, open to New Zealand businesses with a turnover of less than $5 million.

More information can be found here.

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