Businesses the backbone of our towns and villages

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Pride in being part of the town and a cornerstone of the community is very important for all Tararua business owners.  

So much depends on the survival and growth of local businesses, with Council’s #LoveLocalTararua campaign designed to support those who back our towns and villages. Our towns are dependent on business owners supporting local sporting teams, the community, their events and organisations and by doing so they are the strong fabric of every community.

Suresh Patel, of Shires Fruit and Vege Market in Dannevirke, believes local businesses one of the most important aspects' of any town.

“The business sector brings vibrancy and activity to our towns,” he said. “A busy street is a busy town and it’s incredibly vital to have local support for all businesses. The local response since Covid-19 has been overwhelming, but it’s hugely important people carry on supporting and encouraging the business sector. It is the hub of the district. We have a vibrant district, where there is a huge flow-on from the various businesses who donate and support their local communities.”

Suresh said it’s now extremely important for local organisations to receive that support as funding for businesses has dried up since Covid-19.

“We are just realising how important that funding is,” he said. “Spending goes around in circles in our towns and villages.

“We really need to have a sense that by supporting the district we will come out of this better than large metropolitan areas.”

Suresh acknowledged we are fortunate to have fantastic communities behind local businesses in Tararua.

And Tararua District Mayor, Tracey Collis, said businesses have expressed their gratitude for the support they are receiving from locals shopping locally.

“It is showing in our Paymark data for the district and making a real difference in our local economy,” she said. “There is a real sense of local pride and satisfaction knowing your purchase is helping others pay their bills, put food on the table and keeping our local people employed. Thanks Tararua for your support. Let’s keep Loving Local Tararua.”

Gary Fursdon, co-owner of Pongaroa’s Café and General Store, said his business is part of the fabric of his small village.

“With any small village you need cornerstones and we are one, along with the school and the pub,” he said. “We are a point of call for people who may pop in for something to eat or a few grocery items and we’re also an impromptu meeting place.

“I think it’s very important to have a general store. There needs to be one in every thriving village.”

Gary, who has owned the business for just under three years, said he gets involved in community activities and he’s very proud to have a place where people are happy to come too.

District Councillor and Pahiatua business woman, Alison Franklin said businesses are the essential hub of our communities.

“Without them we don’t have a community,” she said. “We have everything here and to lose any business would be devastating.”

However, while positive, she acknowledges it is going to be difficult for our small towns to recover completely following Covid-19.

As an important link in our communities, businesses are always being approached for donations, Alison said.

“People think this money comes out of our till, but it actually comes out of our own pockets, off the bottom line,” she said. “Fortunately, at the moment Tararua is coping well with people not keen to shop out of the district, but our little service towns people would be stuffed without the businesses. They are the backbone of our communities.”

Kevin Laskey, owner of Laskey Auto Services and Laskey Cycles in Pahiatua, supports a wide range of community events.

“We wouldn’t have a community if people didn’t want to live here and events makes our community strong,” he said. “I like to donate and support as many community events as I can, it’s my form of advertising because by supporting a fundraiser or a community event I’m backing this town.”

Kevin supports the Bush Cycle Tour, Children’s Day, Tararua College and Pahiatua School raffles, the skatepark and he donated a bike to raffle to raise funds for Harvard Park.

Due to recent events, #LoveLocalTararua is again rebuilding its business register in preparation for any potential changes in alert levels. We are asking that businesses fill out our online form or send details of when they will be operating through to

You can find all information on what the alert levels look like here:


Click here to read more #LoveLocalTararua Articles

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<< Back to News(Posted on: Monday, 17 August 2020)