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Helpline at the business end

A helpline that’s been providing peace of mind for local small enterprises may have a future.

Business Wairarapa began a trial helpline on January 24 that enabled local businesses to get advice on legal or employment-related matters.

It puts people in touch with employment lawyer Alyn Higgins and human resources consultant Trace Higgins. Based on similar services in Auckland and Wellington business chambers, it’s a unique initiative for a small region, and was undertaken to gauge the level of need for such advice in the area.

Most of the queries received have been related to employment contracts or performance.

“Wairarapa has a higher SME [small and medium-sized enterprises] rate than the national average,” Belsham said,

“Staff retention is important to businesses. Most people go into business because they have a passion for something, but they may not have HR or legal departments.”

“They often think, ‘how do I approach this issue’,” Belsham said. “In the end they want to look after their staff and be the best business they can be.”

The trial finished yesterday.

Belsham said Business Wairarapa’s board would review how it went next month, and decide whether to continue the initiative long-term.

Helen Holt
Helen Holt
Helen Holt is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age and enjoys reporting on a variety of topics, regularly covering Wairarapa events, tourism, local businesses, and the occasional health story.

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