7th April 2011

Westpac provides free operational hub for any Christchurch business

The recovery of hard hit Christchurch businesses will be boosted by free access to the essentials of day to day trading with the launch of The Westpac Business Hub.

The Westpac Business Hub will be open to any Christchurch business and provide a range of services free of charge including phone, broadband, video conferencing, service work spaces, formal and casual meeting places and a corporate lounge.

Located next to C.B.S Arena, the Westpac Business Hub will cover 2,500sqm and can be extended to meet additional demand. It is likely to be open for up to 18 months.

Ian Blair, Westpac’s General Manager of Business Bank, said the Hub is a result of feedback from customers. Since the February 22nd quake, Westpac has contacted nearly 3000 of its relationship managed business customers in Christchurch city. A recurring theme has been the practical difficulties of doing business on a day-to-day basis.

Mr Blair said “The Westpac Business Hub will offer all the essential tools of doing business – phone, photocopying, office space and video conferencing capability and the fit-out will have the look and feel of a business environment. All free of charge.

Another impact from the quake has been that not only has a business had to relocate, but so have their suppliers and customers. Therefore, being able to have those regular and important face to face meetings and build and maintain those relationships has become more difficult. The Westpac Business Hub is easy to access from most parts of the city and can act as a central meeting place to help with those types of problems.

Many businesses are also dealing with insurance and other important issues and meeting with paid advisors has not been easy. To help with that, we are looking at those supporting services such as lawyers, accountants and other advisors being available on site at the The Westpac Business Hub.”

The Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce and Recovery Canterbury will both have a presence at the Hub.

All Christchurch businesses will have access to the facilities although Westpac customers will have some priority. The Westpac Business Hub is expected to be operational in May and Westpac will align with strategic partners to help broaden its capability and support the effort to get Christchurch business back on its feet.

“Westpac has been integral to New Zealand and Canterbury through good times and bad for 150 years. We pride ourselves on that and we pride ourselves on listening to our customers. The Westpac Business Hub is an example of those two attributes,” Mr Blair said.

For more information you can log on to: www.westpacbusinesshub.co.nz

ENDS