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Business owners’ drive rewarded

Lindsey and Amanda Goodman, with their new Toyota Highlander. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

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Four Wairarapa businesses have won part of a national competition, run by Toyota and Mediaworks, to supply a brand new Highlander truck for a year, along with an advertising campaign, to 100 Kiwi businesses.

The four Wairarapa winners – Festival Hire Wairarapa, physiotherapy specialists Back In Action, goat’s cheese company The Drunken Nanny, and wool suppliers Freeth and Co – have now received their new vehicles with ad campaigns on the way.

Maryanne Monastra is the managing director of Back In Action.

“It’s going to be an ad campaign to help us reach out to the community using their platform, which is pretty awesome,” Monastra said.

“We actually had to cut our ad campaign that we had with [Mediaworks] to save costs, so to be able to reinstate that will be really great.”

Monastra said that the use of the new vehicle would free up expenses, allowing them to sell their other vehicle while they took advantage of the lease.

Shelley Mason, co-owner of Festival Hire Wairarapa along with husband Greg, was another winner. In March, the Times-Age spoke with Mason on the impact of the lockdown on her business, which she had described as “severe”.

She was now more upbeat. The prize had been “very welcome”, but she admitted feeling guilty for winning at a time when others were struggling.

“I was sure there were people worse off than we are, but we talked to the Mediaworks team and felt a bit more confident about receiving it.

“It’s like you’re celebrating something exciting, but you don’t like tooting your own horn.”

Mason said the ad campaign would be particularly helpful in advertising their many different services.

“In the past, you had to be quite picky with what to advertise with our budget, but now we’re going to be able to try some things we wouldn’t necessarily have the budget to focus on.”

Amanda Goodman, co-owner of the award-winning goat’s cheese company The Drunken Nanny, said that advertising was a new area for them.

“We’ve always done social media, but we’ve never had a large enough budget to do an ad campaign – so this will be a real bonus for us.

“We made the call to dry off our goats early, so we’ve had to wait for them to start kidding again, which is only just starting now.

“So, this is particularly important for us, because we’re carrying on through the winter, with a much smaller production.”

Goodman described the Highlander as a “great, comfy car” that had allowed them more space for deliveries and market stalls. The Toyota replaced a well-worn Honda Odyssey that had clocked more than 300,000km.

Jeremy Freeth has been in the wool business for 40 years, and started wool buyers Freeth and Co, based at Riversdale, about 20 years ago. He said that the wool industry was “in crisis”.

“It’s never been this bad, ever. Wool used to be $4 per kilo, now it’s about $1.”

At the start of lockdown, Freeth was forwarded the competition and decided to enter. While the Toyota had been a great help, and replaced an older vehicle, Freeth said he would use his free advertising to promote the use of wool, rather than his personal business – something driven by the downturn in foreign markets [North Island wool was mostly used in carpets and insulation popular in Western Europe, the UK, and India].

“What we need are the 30-year-olds, getting houses built or repurposed or renovated, to be putting woollen carpet on the floor, as opposed to nylon, and using wool insulation.

“It ticks every box for being green, and it’s a lot more fire retardant than synthetics.”

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