MBIE’s Small Business Collective recognised for its mahi tahi

Published: 01 December 2021

During the 2020 COVID-19 response, the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment’s Small Business Collective responded at pace to deliver information, support and services to help small business owners navigate the rapidly changing environment.

MBIE’s Small Business Collective proactively supports small businesses to thrive, including by making it easier for them to deal with government. 2 strategic initiatives – Business Connect and Digital Boost – were recently deemed the winners in the ‘Service Excellence Award’ category of the NZ Government’s Te Hāpai Hapori Spirit of Service Awards 2021 (sponsored by Westpac).

The Spirit of Service Awards celebrate outstanding public sector governance, young leaders and initiatives delivering exceptional outcomes for New Zealanders.

The Business Connect platform provides a single point of contact for businesses when interacting with different government agencies. It seeks to reduce the administrative costs involved in dealing with government, increase business productivity and improve transparency and trust in government services.

The Digital Boost programme is focused on supporting more small business owners to lift their digital capabilities, noting that those businesses who were already digitally capable demonstrated much more resilience operating in a COVID-19 environment. Digital Boost is about equipping small businesses for the future, enabling them to participate in global markets, and benefit from digital government services.

Both services urgently pivoted to respond to COVID-19. Business Connect launched the Business Travel Document service, which automated the movement of information across 16 different government agencies to keep businesses seamlessly moving across Alert Level boundaries. Business Connect has helped thousands of businesses stay operational and kept tens of thousands of employees working. And since launching in January 2021, the Digital Boost Skills Training initiative has supported over 42,000 small businesses and their employees to lift their digital capabilities.

MBIE General Manager, Business & Commerce Ross van der Schyff said “the teams within the Small Business Collective have pooled their policy, research, digital, operational, business and marketing skills and insights to deliver real outcomes for small businesses. Other achievements include helping government design numerous COVID-19 responses to support small businesses, and most recently the launch of the $60 million ‘Activate’ Auckland Business Support package.”

“Business.govt.nz information pages, tools and newsletters, including support relating to small business cash flow and mental health, have collectively been visited 5 million times in the last year.”

“The uptake of the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) by small businesses has grown exponentially over the last year. As at 31 March 2021 there were over 815,000 entities on the NZBN Register.”

“The roll-out of eInvoicing across New Zealand allows invoicing that enables faster payments from government and large business to small businesses – helping to improve their cash flow.”

MBIE media contact

Email: media@mbie.govt.nz