Helping local businesses emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown and getting back on the road to full recovery is the goal of the ‘Taumarunui Retail Queens’.

Comprising Taumarunui/Ohura Ward Councillors Karen Ngatai, Robyn Gram and Lyn Neeson the Retail Queens want to help ensure that Taumarunui doesn’t lose any businesses as a result of the lockdown period.

Taumarunui Councillor and Deputy Mayor Karen Ngatai said that the idea for forming the ‘Retail Queens’ to champion economic recovery in Taumarunui came about over a Zoom morning coffee chat during Alert Level 4.

“Both Robyn and Lyn are local business owners facing the same issues of other local businesses of needing to pay on-going expenses for businesses with no income.

“Combined with our role as Councillors and involvement with Enterprising Taumarunui Inc. we have a very real insight into the financial and mental pressures our local business community is going through at this time and the sort of help they need,” she said.

Ohura Ward Councillor and owner of ShearWarmth Lyn Neeson said that after five weeks of no trading we knew that some business owners were struggling mentally and starting to wonder if it was worth staying open

“Our message to all local businesses is that is that you are not alone and that Council, Enterprising Taumarunui Inc. and the Taumarunui community will do all we can to help you through this period.

We understand that our businesses have never gone through anything like this before and everyone wants to help ensure that you survive and are in a position to prosper as things start to open up again.”

Taumarunui Ward Councillor and owner of Buy the Gram Robyn Gram added that now we are in Alert Level 3 and that some businesses including her own were starting to trade again there is definitely a growing light at the end of the tunnel.

“Supporting local businesses by buying local is the number one thing people can do to support our local economy,” she said.

“The support I have had in my own business has been fantastic and we would urge people to keep this support up and to keep spending their money in town wherever possible

This is much more than a much needed financial boost but a huge boost to your morale as a business owner to know that your local community values what you do.”

“If there are any local businesses out there in need of support or advice please do not hesitate to contact one of us directly or to call Council on 07 895 8188,” she said.


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