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Tag: COVID-19

The re-upholstery renaissance: McDonald Hartshorne


If nothing else, Covid-19 has had us focus on tackling those backburner projects. Many have spruced their homes with a new paint job, and while that goes a long way to aesthetic enhancement, shabby furniture can let the whole project down.

Artisan re-upholsterer McDonald and Hartshorne shares some wisdom on remedying that situation:

 

 

BOLSTER LIMP INNERS AND SEAT CUSHIONS WITH NEW INNERS – And don’t neglect rips or unravelling stitches. The sooner the repair, the better the outcome.

HEIRLOOM PIECES DESERVE TO BE PASSED DOWN THE GENERATIONS – A repair to framework, some woodwork stripping, repolishing and a reupholster, soon restores pieces to their original beauty.

 

 

A SCATTER OF COLOURFUL CUSHIONS – Bespoke new or re-covered cushions in a gorgeous fabric, creates a dramatic change.

KIWIS LOVE THEIR SQUABS.- Dress bay-windows, patio benches or caravans with new squabs, or refresh tired ones with inner padding or outer fabric for an eye-popping transformation. McDonald and Hartshorne stock a large fabric range, including superb NZ leathers, leather-look vinyls (plain and textured) and vinyls in many colours.

Keith Hartshorne can visit by appointment at your home, workplace or business. Free no-obligation quotes available. Send through photos for email quotes.
Commercial quotes welcome, as are insurance assessments.


 

Masking disruption: Ricoh Pandemic Pivot


Christchurch-based apparel maker, Cactus Outdoor, has added a new product to its repertoire: Locally made face masks which use bacteria-busting natural wool filters.

 

Originally developed for dust protection before Covid-19 made face masks an essential item, Cactus Outdoors have manufactured tens of thousands of the mouth and nose coverings from its Christchurch factory since February.

Co-founder and director, Ben Kepes says the locally made masks have been snapped up.

“We developed the facemask before Covid-19 for our trade customers,” he says.

“When Covid-19 hit we ramped up production to fulfi l the massive demand.” The masks have a woollen filter which exceeds high N95 testing levels.

“Our masks feature a high-tech fi lter made from a specialised woollen fabric.

“To this we add organically grown cotton fabric to provide another layer of protection.”

Despite supply chain issues, Ben says the durable outdoor clothing, backpack and accessory maker’s Essential Service status meant production could continue during Alert Level 4.

“The fact our filter exceeds N95 levels…is made in New Zealand from natural materials, uses our amazing New Zealand-grown wool and is made with love by Kiwi workers has gone down a treat.”

• Good business story? Nominate a local business innovating to overcome Covid-19 challenges at editor@metros.co.nz.


 

Building workplace wellbeing


As lives – and livelihoods – remain disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, a new platform to help small business owners monitor their team’s wellbeing has been launched.

 

The Check In is an online tool for small business leaders to help them facilitate free activities to support their teams and empower team members to support themselves.

Launched by cloud-based accounting software platform, Xero, The Check In has evidence-based ideas and insights to assist businesses to cultivate workplace wellbeing.

It also includes additional wellbeing resources and policy guides for small businesses that want to take wellbeing further.

Managing Director for New Zealand and Pacific Islands at Xero Craig Hudson, says the impact of the pandemic on the small business industry is far-reaching – impacting wellbeing and inflating day-to-day stresses.

“All workplaces play a central role in building people’s resilience and positive wellbeing, helping them to be healthy, contributing members to their families and communities.

“After specialist mental health services and primary health care, workplaces are the next biggest place of mental wellness support in the country, and 97 percent of New Zealand businesses are small businesses. So it’s vital that small businesses know what to do and how simple it can be.”

Likewise, the evidence for cultivating healthy workplaces shows returns, says Hudson.

A Deloitte study in the UK found mental health awareness and proactive intervention can result in a return on investment (ROI) of up to $8 for every $1 spent, while reactive support can result in an ROI of up to $4.50 for every $1 spent.


 

Help! How should I manage my investments during a global pandemic?! Alistair Bean


One of the keys to successful financial portfolio management is to ensure you are treated as an individual and not boxed in as just another number. Authorised Financial Adviser Alistair Bean tells Metropol why this approach is especially vital in uncertain times.

WHY SHOULD I HAVE AN INDIVIDUALISED INVESTMENT PLAN PREPARED BY A FINANCIAL ADVISER?
“More than just completing a series of fact finding and risk profile documents for your available lump sum, it’s about getting to know and truly understand you, your family, your trust, business or charity to discover how we can best help you meet your short, medium and longer-term goals and needs.”

DOESN’T IT TAKE TIME TO BUILD TRUST WITH AN ADVISER?
“I always tell my clients it may take some time to build a level of client-adviser trust, but any of my long-term clients will attest to how investing with Alistair Bean & Associates – Financial Advisers has helped them meet their life goals. I’ve been told authorising me to “make decisions so I don’t have to” was the best decision they ever made. I love hearing tales of how we’ve helped put children and grandchildren through school; buy new properties, cars, family holidays, and provided income for retirement. Clients are part of my family and doing our best to ensure the meeting of financial goals is my priority.”

WHAT DOES AN INDIVIDUALISED INVESTMENT PLAN INVOLVE?
“Among many other valuable things, you will be presented with initial investment recommendations for your available funds. These should reflect the current economic and market information available in New Zealand and overseas at the time and be used as a starting point.”

IF MY ADVISER HAS TOLD ME WHAT TO DO WITH MY AVAILABLE LUMP SUM, THEN WHY DON’T I JUST DO THIS MYSELF?
“This is where the rubber actually hits the road and where your financial adviser makes a difference! While funds should be allocated to the short, medium, and longer-term, as we are seeing in the current Covid-19 environment and many previous crisis situations – the whole world can spin on a ten-cent piece. Your financial adviser’s highest skills are employed here to adapt your investment portfolio as changes occur.”

WHAT KIND OF RECOMMENDATIONS MIGHT BE MADE?
“Your adviser’s actions will include ensuring you have enough funds to see you through a crisis. This used to be three months, but I now recommend a minimum of one year’s expenses.
“Then, ensuring you have medium-term funds for things like home improvements, family assistance, car, and appliance upgrades. And finally, for longer-term nest-egg and retirement provisions. Your financial adviser will keep an eye on your funds and adjust as appropriate to the current conditions. This could include keeping your investments exactly where they are or moving them somewhere deemed more beneficial.”

Contact Alistair Bean & Associates – Financial Advisers on 03 288 0404 or via Alistair.Bean@abafs.co.nz to help achieve your financial goals. Personal disclosure documents available free in the resources tab of the website below.


 

The Influencers: Joanna Norris


ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive

The second wave of Covid-19 has dealt the country a psychological blow alongside the economic and social impacts we are still experiencing from the first outbreak.
Ōtautahi Christchurch’s Socio-Economic Recovery Plan anticipated community transmission was likely and remains the basis for how we respond to these impacts. Our sights are firmly set on the immediate aim of supporting businesses and saving and growing jobs and, over the longer term we are building a foundation to reposition the city for a smart, sustainable future to ensure intergenerational wellbeing.
Already we’ve seen the delivery of several initiatives from the plan; including the recent partnership with the University of Canterbury (UC) Business School and Ara Institute of Canterbury and Ministry of Awesome through the Te Ōhaka – Centre for Growth & Innovation, to deliver an all-of-city approach to innovation.
Start-ups and businesses with high growth potential now have even more support, advice, networks, mentoring and access to investor and commercial networks here and overseas.
The Ministry of Awesome will be the home for early-stage start-ups – their Incubation Programme and wealth of other start-up support will grow our best ideas into business opportunities.
ThincLab at UC will focus on high growth ventures, providing further incubator support and connecting businesses with the best local, national and international expertise to fast-track their growth.
Without a doubt, you can expect to see great things come out of the city’s innovation ecosystem over the next year.

 


 

John Bridgman

The Influencers: John Bridgman


One of the pleasing aspects of our work delivering anchor projects for Christchurch is the positive impact on suppliers.

Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

We’re spending over $10m a month in the city at the moment. We’ve profiled some of those suppliers in recent in-house video updates.

Local company, John Jones Steel is producing 4500 tonnes of fabricated steelwork for the large Metro Sports Facility. It’s the biggest project in the company’s 50-year history and will keep them busy for a year.

John Jones Steel notes that their staff and families look forward to swimming in the competition and leisure pools, and playing on the court and other facilities, making it a special project for them.

That steel is being hoisted into place by Titan Cranes, which has three of the largest cranes ever used in New Zealand on-site, including a massive 500-tonne crawler crane especially imported for the project. I’m with one of the crane operators who notes excitedly: “You’re never too old to ride a hydroslide!”

But it’s not just the large companies that benefit from these projects. Remarkable Surfaces, a small family business based at Wigram, is spray painting the 487 gilded boxes that compose the ceiling design in the vast banquet room at the Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre.

This is the largest project that Remarkable Surfaces has ever undertaken, and they are indeed doing a remarkable job.

With Covid-19, these are challenging times to be delivering major construction projects. We look forward to having them completed for the enjoyment and benefit of us all.


 

 

Dancing home, from afar


Forced to reimage dance in a contactless, Covid-19 world, Switzerland-based Sumner-raised contemporary dancer Emma Murray has been selected for Christchurch-based Movement Art Practice (MAP)’s residency, which will be run and shown digitally for the first time at the end of this month.

 

 

Emma found her feet as a dancer at six-years-old and went on to study at the New Zealand School of Dance, later earning a place at the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company.

She left New Zealand in her early 20s to dance across Europe.

She’s recently completed a Masters in Contemporary Art Practice at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern, Switzerland and was selected for the MAP residency by an impressive lineup of Kiwi judges including Cat Ruka, Paul Young and Pelenakeke Brown.

She tells Metropol about her journey as a dancer.

I was attracted early on to the work being made in Europe and the strong traditions of contemporary dance and theater there, despite having a strong classical training.

I left New Zealand in 1997, making my way around Europe auditioning for dance companies in France, Germany, Great Britain, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Holland and Montreal, Canada.

Eventually I found work in a city theater in Innsbruck, Austria and from there, moved to Switzerland where I was engaged as a soloist at the Stadt Theater Bern (now Konzert Theater Bern). That work was some of the most demanding and exciting of my career – not least because during this time I became a mother juggling fulltime dance and childcare.

Developing my own projects has allowed me to diversify my skills in and out of the studio, on and off the stage, as well as straddle various artistic disciplines and work with other artists across cultural divides. I left the Konzert Theater Bern in 2008, and I’ve continued to travel for performing, residencies or workshops, festivals and teaching engagements.

Probably what I’m most proud of – and in all honesty a little amazed by – is that I’m still doing it! Still performing and making work, still engaged on projects – my own and with others – and still finding the funding to do it.

Because of Covid-19, artists have been quick to look for alternatives or solutions. For me, a drop in productivity (the closure of theaters, postponement or cancellation of festivals and performances) has meant more time for reflection and practice.

The MAP Research Exchange programme offers me an opportunity to re-think performance in the digital sphere and explore tactile possibilities for working with multi-media. I’ll be doing this alongside the critical theorist Giulia Palladini. I am looking to bring alive a conversation between written text and the body, the body and digital technology, digital technology and performing an archive.

Watch the three winning residencies broadcast their projects at
www.movementartpractice.org


 

Best business resources


These last few months have been tough for everyone. But it’s arguably our local small to medium enterprises that have felt the strain of quarantine the most. Thankfully, there are some resources available for support and we’ve collated a list of places you can go for help, advice or support.

 

CANTERBURY EMPLOYERS’ CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Collates all of the official information on COVID-19 as it relates to business operation and puts it all in one place. Their team of experts also offer great business advice during these unusual times.

OTHER BUSINESSES: Sometimes the best people to turn to are the those that are in the same boat as you. Reach out to other companies in your trade and see how they’re coping and what you can all do to support one another.

SOS CAFÉ: This not-for-profit initiative was set up to support local businesses, specifically cafés, restaurants, bars and eateries, through the purchasing of vouchers. These can be redeemed later, when it’s safe to do so.

MINISTRY OF AWESOME: This is the starting point for entrepreneurs, startups, and innovators in Christchurch, which means they’ve got the support, guidance, capability training and networks entrepreneurs need to succeed.

COVID COLAB 20: A public Facebook page that was set up to support the community and the business industry, it is all about collaboration and bouncing off each other creatively.

CHRISTCHURCH SMALL BUSINESS ENTERPRISE CENTRE (CSBEC): CSBEC offers a range of services to start-up and existing micro and small business owners. These include business facilitation and consultancy, marketing advice and reports, management planning and budgeting, finance advice and training courses.


 

COVID’s impact on business


More than 63 percent of respondents to a recent survey of Canterbury businesses are reporting significant financial impacts from COVID-19. More than 21 percent are citing moderate impact, with more than 7 percent citing minor impact.

 

The data was gathered as part of a survey distributed to local businesses last month, during Alert Level 3, by The Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and ChristchurchNZ.

Looking forward three months, 60 percent of businesses still felt that the cashflow impact will be profound.

Staff numbers too will be affected, with around 30 percent of businesses believing their staffing numbers would have a significant negative impact of more than 25 percent.

Exporters remain more optimistic, with 46 percent responding that there will be no effect on their sales, while 30 percent think the negative effect will be more than 25 percent.

The survey shows that smaller businesses have been more impacted by loss of customers and increased costs, while larger ones have been impacted by supply chain.

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Leeann Watson says the results of this survey demonstrate the changing impact during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All business segments have been affected by cashflow issues.

We have engaged with over 2000 businesses over the last two months through our COVID-19 helpline and over email and 6,000 businesses in on our webinars, and the survey results reinforce what we are seeing – namely the very real need for continued targeted financial support and the need for HR as we continue to see increased needs around support with restructuring, redundancy and resizing for businesses.”


 

The Influencers: John Bridgman


 

Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

 

Construction is back up and running at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre after a shutdown during the COVID-19 restriction period.

Work kicked off again at Level 3 with a smaller team and strict social distancing requirements, and as we return to the city it is brilliant to see how quickly the building façade is progressing along Oxford Terrace.

The pandemic is affecting the business events industry worldwide and we are not immune to that.

The centre’s Business Development team has been working closely with affected clients to reschedule their events to a later date, which has kept most of these events in Christchurch.

General Manager Ross Steele has advised they now have 67 events confirmed for Te Pae Christchurch, which is a 30% increase on the number of bookings at the end of 2019.

These are projected to bring over $40 million of economic benefit to the city.

Understandably, given the current climate, eight upcoming events have been cancelled due to uncertainty around travel and the delayed completion of the building.

When the venue opens, personal safety is likely to still be at the front of people’s minds.

The hygiene and safety standards being used will be consistent with other venues around the world managed by our venue operator, ASM Global.

In business as usual, an exceptional local winery, Sherwood Estate Wines, has secured the first major supply contract.

Supporting the city’s economic and social recovery is one of Te Pae Christchurch’s key objectives and they tell me they expect to sign up more local suppliers shortly.