Today, Ministers Phil Twyford and Stuart Nash announced a further $40m for the Regional Business Partner Network (RBP), to assist small and medium enterprises with their COVID-19 recovery. This is in addition to the $15m invested in March.

The RBP’s role is to connect business owners with experts that can help build their capability in areas such as HR, health and wellness, marketing, digital support, finance and business continuity planning.

Eligible business will work with local Growth Advisors to help them identify and prioritise key needs, and from there determine what provider would be best suitable.

This funding will be available soon at a local level from the Eastern Bay of Plenty Chamber of Commerce. We provide follow up information specific for our region in the coming days. Please note, there is already a waiting list of eligible businesses and delays are to be expected.  

In the mean time, please view these FAQs below to understand more about RBP and to understand if you are eligible for the funding before contacting us. 


Who are the Regional Business Partners (RBP)?

The RBP Network consists of partner organisations such as regional economic development agencies and Chambers of Commerce (such as Eastern Bay of Plenty) across 14 regions covering the whole country.


What support is available from the RBP Network?

Growth Advisors will be working to ensure that support matches the business needs at the time of the engagement and will contribute to the business’ recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. They will discuss your business needs and help you access connections advice and support from relevant services provided by government and locally.


What service areas will the COVID-19 Business Advisory Fund cover?

Our focus will be to assist with funding of businesses to access COVID-19 advice from professionals in the following areas:

  • HR & Employee Relations
  • Health and Wellness
  • Business Continuity Planning
  • Finance and cashflow Management
  • Marketing, Business and digital enablement strategy
  • Other specialist advisory services to support businesses respond to COVID-19 can/will be added as required


How does the funding work and how much can I access?

The amount issued will depend on the cost of the service/solution required and is paid to the Service Provider on completion of the service in the areas above. It does not go directly to the business. Growth Advisors work with businesses to determine the service/solution required and then issue the voucher funding amount accordingly.


What are the eligibility criteria to access this service?

Businesses need to meet the following criteria:

  • have undergone an assessment with a Regional Partner (i.e. Growth Advisor); and
  • have a New Zealand Business Number; and
  • have between 1-100 full-time equivalent employees; and
  • are registered for GST in New Zealand; and
  • are operating in a commercial environment; and
  • are privately-owned businesses or are a Māori Trust or incorporation under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 or similar organisation managing Māori assets under multiple ownership.


I am already registered with the RBP Network, how do I access support?

Contact our local Growth Advisor on to discuss.


Can I access this support if I have already accessed the Management Capability Fund via the RBP Network?

Yes, the COVID-19 Business Advisory Fund is a separate fund to the Management Capability Development Fund.


Can I access the RBP COVID-19 Business Advisory Fund if I have accessed other government support?

Yes, this support is available in addition to any other support such as the wage subsidy.


Can I access the RBP COVID-19 Business Advisory Fund more than once?

Yes, but the funding is capped per business.


If I am an NZTE/Callaghan Innovation Customer can I access the RBP COVID-19 Business Advisory Fund support alongside NZTE/Callaghan Innovation support?

Yes, NZTE/Callaghan Innovation Customers can access support through the RBP.