After the 14 November 2016 Earthquakes the Government made the Earthquake Support Subsidy (ESS) available for affected businesses in Kaikōura and along SH1.
This was later extended to cover other parts of Hurunui and Marlborough, and businesses in the Wellington region that were denied access by safety cordons. The ESS was for businesses which suffered a sudden, significant and sustained loss of revenue as a direct result of the earthquakes. It was paid at $500 per week for full time employees and $300 per week for part-time employees.
In 2017, government extended this assistance for a further sixteen weeks until 30 April 2017, as it became clear how long it would take to reopen SH1. $17.5 million was made available for affected businesses. It was administered by the Ministry of Social Development and 866 businesses accessed it.
Following the end of the subsidy on 1 May 2017, a targeted $1.1 million Business Recovery Grants Programme was set up to support local businesses until SH1 reopens. MBIE staff have been assessing the impact of the Programme and are considering alternative business-related uses for some of the fund.
The government is committed to helping businesses get back on their feet and to rebuilding the local economy and will continue to monitor how the economy is performing and provide further assistance if needed. Businesses interested in applying for the Grant can go to their local Council website.