Business activation fund

Find out how to apply for a Covid 19 recovery business activation grant.

Covid19 recovery business activation grants

We've set up a $150,000 fund to help businesses attract customers to hospitality and retail centres in Lower Hutt.

We're offering grants to help create events, activities and support new concepts and ideas for attracting customers with a focus on the Winter period of June, July and August.

What we're seeking

We're looking to help create activities that add vibrancy and business revenue by bringing people to city and neighbourhood centres, and improve revenues in hospitality, retail and tourism businesses.

Activities that are:

  • innovative / having a 'wow' factor
  • able to increase visitation to the area
  • highly visible and accessible
  • enable collaboration
  • are beneficial to several business and/or the wider business neighbourhood
  • climate-change friendly and supports local suppliers
  • creates a vibrant and exciting street experience
  • safe and follow the COVID-19 Protection Framework

What can be funded

Events and activations that benefit Lower Hutt businesses. Activities beyond Spring 2022 will be considered where the fund allows.

You could:

  • collaborate with several cafes for a special event or pop-up eateries to support retail
  • join forces with other businesses to offer a new experience
  • boost marketing of a significant existing event to draw a bigger audience
  • create a music, buskers, live performance or art trail and tie it into business locations to “do the trail, eat, shop”
  • organise a pop-up event with neighbouring businesses to work together and ‘spill out’ onto footpath
  • use outdoor spaces for trading

The fund can support costs for:

  • a physical activation, programme or event that brings a direct link to a hospitality and retail businesses in Lower Hutt
  • creating benefit to "bricks and mortar" businesses
  • marketing and promotion of a new or existing event / group of events
  • licences, permits or fees such as traffic management plan

in looking at this, we'll also consider if your request is an activity already supported by council grants or funding.

The fund will not be used for:

  • costs supporting "business as usual"
  • building maintenance or business operational costs
  • political organisations or businesses that have a political purpose
  • activities with a primary focus on fundraising
  • retrospective costs

How to apply and what to expect when you do

Applications will be accepted on a first-in-first-served basis until the fund is fully allocated - which we expect to be before Christmas 2022.

Apply now to tell us about yourself, your business or group and your idea. We'll need to understand how it'll work and how it'll benefit business in a simple application form. Share your concept now and we will ask for more detail later.

  1. We'll look at these each week and if it fits the criteria above we'll be in touch to discuss the finer detail and ask for evidence of putting your idea in to action. Then we will formally approve or turn down your application.
  2. Send us an invoice for the agreed amount and we'll pay you the grant. If you haven't got funding from us before, we'll ask you to fill out a 'new supplier form' to ensure we've got all your business or group details for payment.
  3. Hold your activity and let us know how it went in a simple report.

Want to know more?

Our team are happy to answer any questions you may have and can assist with your application. Please contact us on 570 6666, or email