Queenstown Lakes entered the Orange Light level of the COVID-19 Protection Framework on 3 December 2021. Learn more about changes to Council services here.

Southern Lakes Business Response Group

In response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, a Southern Lakes ‘Business Response & Recovery team has been formed by Southern Lakes business agencies - QLDC Economic Development, Ignite Wanaka Chamber, Queenstown Chamber of Commerce, Destination Queenstown and Lake Wanaka Tourism.

We understand that businesses and employees within our local businesses are concerned about the future of our economy and we know it’s a difficult time for us all.  We are here to help by providing a co-ordinated local response and support network for the Southern Lakes business community following the impact of COVID-19 which has been identified as a health emergency locally, nationally and internationally.  Our role is to:

  1. Gather intel and provide consistent and accurate information via organisation’s and other channels.

  2. Ensure businesses have the resources and support they need now, when they need it and know where to go for it.

  3. Once appropriate move into a co-ordinated recovery phase to ensure businesses can return to their new normal as soon as possible.

We have created one on-line platform (a source of truth) where information can be shared and updated now and in the future.  Further information is available here.

Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Reset plan – Queenstown Lakes

Applications for the Business Advisory Support and Advice Implementation Grant will be accepted from Monday 06 September 2021 for the Queenstown Lakes District

Further information on the Tourism Kick-start Fund will be provided once we are closer to reconnecting borders.

The three areas of support available to tourism businesses are:

  1. Business Advisory Support (up to $5,000 per business operation) to enable businesses to receive expert advice and support, such as on changing target markets, or scaling their business.

  2. Grants for businesses to implement business advice (up to $5,000 per business operation).

  3. Tourism Kick-Start Fund, to contribute towards existing tourism businesses scaling back up for the return of international visitors ($10,000 to $50,000 per business operation). The grant will be calculated based on two weeks of pre-COVID-19 revenue set at two weeks of annual revenue for the 2019/20 financial year. 

Tourism businesses can access funding through all three business initiatives (as they open) via the Otago Regional Business Partners network.

Information on eligibility, where and how to apply can be found here.


We are here to help, if you require any further information or support please get in touch with any of the contacts below. 

Destination Queenstown
Paul Abbot - CEO

Queenstown Chamber
Ruth Stokes – CEO

Lake Wanaka Tourism
Tim Barke – GM

Arrowtown Promotion & Business Association
Nicky Busst – Manager

Ignite Wanaka Chamber
Naomi Lindsay – GM

Queenstown Lakes District Council
Peter Harris - Economic Development Manager

Regional Business Partners
Tara Druce - Business Growth Manager


Take Stock

Are you a small business owner struggling with the impacts of Covid-19? Free professional help is just a phone call away. The Take Stock programme offers three counselling sessions for local business owners, with heaps of practical advice to support your wellbeing.  Call 0800 360 364 and ask for Take Stock. It’s completely free and confidential. That’s 0800 360 364. Brought to you by Southern Lakes Business Response group.

Business Response Group (BRG) resilience initiative.

What: 3 free counselling sessions available for any small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) business owner located within the Queenstown Lakes District.

How: Confidential services are offered through Benestar. To access this service contact Benestar directly and quote the Take Stock programme to redeem these sessions. You can contact them via 0800 360 364 or by email:

Business and Employee Resources

If you need additional support as a business or employee, please contact the resources available below. These links will be regularly updated by the relevant agency and organisation and are the source of truth for information.

Visit covid19.govt.nz for all updates.

Business Owner Support

Redeployment options / resources will be available here as they become available.

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