Now we’ve got freedom to head out and shop, now is the time to put your money where your mouth is and support local, business leaders say.

Neighbourly’s Local Likes campaign is asking people to highlight a business nearby that they love and let others in their neighbourhoods know.

The push across the 830,000-strong homegrown social network is just what local enterprise needed, says Dane Ambler of Business New Zealand.

“I think it’s a fantastic initiative. These local businesses closed their doors to make sure we were safe over the past couple of months and now for them it’s a matter of life and death.”

“They need us now, so it is time for us to act on all this talk of supporting local businesses and it’s great to see Neighbourly helping out.”

The business advocacy organisation was running its own campaign ShopKiwi which shares a similar ethos and aims to give a boost to all locally owned businesses.

A new Web site, has been launched to make it easier for New Zealanders to buy products from locally owned businesses to help them recover from the severe disruption caused by Covid 19 and the restrictions of level four and three, which will help and which will in turn help keep Kiwis employed. Joining us now with more information about the initiative, including the all important to URL is ShopKiwi manager Dion Ambler from Business New Zealand.


Good morning. Nice. Nice to thank you. Thank you very much for having me.

Lovely to have you on the show.

Now tell us about the website that you’ve launched and how it’s helping businesses. So ShopKiwi is basically a website and campaign to help retailers and manufacturers go out to their clients. Obviously, it’s about helping them in terms of their visibility. They’ve had a pretty hard time over the last few weeks. So I think, you know, they can use all the help that they can get.

So is the majority of the business that are on the website are New Zealand Made. Right?

The products, So they’re not just New Zealand Made. We saw a wee gap on what was being offered and there’s a lot of focus lately on New Zealand Made products, but we realized a lot of companies actually import their products and they you know, they make the same contribution to the economy and employ the same amount of people and things like that. So basically, we’ve got a whole range of companies on there. There’s about 20 categories. We’ve got everything from a company in Wanganui that grows hemp and sells hemp related products through to a company in Tasman that sells tuxedos for dogs.

I’ve been on the website and yeah, pretty much it’s a one stop shop for all those. Very, very impressive.

Yeah. So in terms of businesses being on this website, what are the benefits?

So the benefit is mainly visibility. So a lot of these companies have obviously had their doors closed for quite some time, haven’t had the same cash flow, but have had the same the overheads and things like that. So we heard quite early on the Finance Minister saying that the government will be able to support and help some businesses but not all of them. So some businesses, this is a matter of life and death. You know, some of them are not going to make it. We’ve seen a range of practical measures taken by the government so far. And it was great to see that the wage subsidy extended last week. But ultimately, what these businesses really need is foot traffic or online traffic and money going through the tills. Is there a criteria for businesses being on the website. No, no, there’s no criteria. So any New Zealand owned and operated business can sign up. And it’s so easy. You know, we’ve got a form that’s halfway down the main page. They fill it in and we go to their website, grab a picture and by the end of the day, they’ll be on the website.

The reality is, as you mentioned it earlier, is that many businesses are not going to survive beyond the government’s wage subsidy. So now is the time to start thinking about how to create new ways of thinking about new ideas for how you can market your business right. Or how you can sell the product.

Yeah, that’s right. And I think a lot of companies, you know, have have been hit with a stark reality and they’re going to have to reassess how they operate and I guess around supply chains and things like that as well. You know, a lot of companies rely on overseas manufacturing. So there’s probably going to be quite a big shift in terms of companies bringing manufacturing closer to home. So, yeah, it is a big, big wake up call. And obviously we’re just doing what we can to help them help them out.

In the notes you talked about ’embracing the weird’ about your own business and actually just leaning into it as opposed to being afraid of that.

Yeah so the ShopKiwi campaign is being spun out of the Buy New Zealand Made Campaign which is run by Ryan Jennings. And this is sort of his brainchild. So, yeah, he’s making a big push for Kiwi companies to ’embrace their weird’, and we’ve got a incredible diversity and creative culture in this country. And you can just see that from all the companies that are on the ShopKiwi website.

Well, the reality is we have to start doing things differently, don’t we? Dane Ambler Manager for ShopKiwi. Oh, no. Before we go, what’s the website again? Dane Ambler Manager for ShopKiwi. Thank you so much for your time this morning. I really appreciate it. Thanks for having me. See you later.

I like the idea of embracing your difference and ’embracing your weird’. Yeah. Because we’ve been afraid to do that to stand out to be different. Yeah.

And also we’ve gone through a period of mass. So sort of ubiquity. Right. So Amazon.. shopping malls, fluoro lights. There’s a kind of sameness attached to all of that, whereas if you want to stand out. Maybe now’s the time to do it, because people are shopping online alot. Right.