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Learn how membership with Business Canterbury can help you take your business in the direction you want it to go. 

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To grow your network and access member benefits.

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To take your business to the next level with extra business support.

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Business and Disaster Recovery

Business Canterbury has played a pivotal role in helping to support members and the wider local business community during challenging times and times of crisis.

Business Canterbury has been a trusted source of information and support for business in tough times.

During the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquakes, we worked with the former Canterbury Development Corporation (CDC), now ChristchurchNZ, to establish Recover Canterbury. This organisation connected with over 7,000 Canterbury businesses during its time, helping affected businesses get on with recovery.

We also helped with the Kaikōura earthquake recovery, and more recently managed the South Island COVID-19 Business Help Desk.

When disaster strikes, call us.



We are passionate advocates for business and when disaster strikes, we dial it up to the max, making sure that the needs of business are not forgotten. You can count on us to be on your side and by your side when your business needs it most. 

In times of crisis there is often uncertainty. Speculation and misinformation spread and it can be difficult to discern the truth. We make sure you get the accurate, up-to-date information you need, when you need it.

As the South Island's largest chamber of commerce, representing businesses in New Zealand's 2nd largest city, we have influence. And we are not shy about leveraging that influence to make sure the Canterbury business community gets what it needs to move forward. 

Business and Disaster Recovery

Are you ready?

There are plenty of online templates for Business Continuity Plans and Disaster Recovery Plans. The important thing is to test them within your business and adapt them accordingly, so your staff know where to find the plans and what to do in a disaster.
Increasingly we are seeing new risks to business in the form of cyber-attacks. Maintaining awareness of these risks and making plans to minimise the damage to your business can reduce the financial and operational impact of these incidents. 
Christchurch Earthquake February 2011
The below information is sourced from the Recover Canterbury story.

Disaster Planning and Preparedness

  • Prepare: Carry out a risk analysis, test it and insure where possible. Understand your terms of lease. Use professionals, such as your accountant, to help with business planning. Be sure your business, and your supply chain businesses, can operate in an emergency. Identify alternative supply partners.
  • Survive: Seek advice from trusted advisors or third parties before making big decisions, especially if your home is damaged as well as your business. Is your market still there? Cash is king: if an employment subsidy is available, use it - you can repay it if not required.  
  • Thrive: There will be support available. Ensure you are aware of what is on offer and get connected to key orgnisations to stay informed as the situation evolves.
  • Prepare: Understand what denotes material damage. Be sure you have up-to-date valuations. Ensure your insurance is with a quality provider.    
  • Survive: Take lots of photos before you start the clean-up. Use professionals to support your claim.  
  • Prepare: Make sure your staff know their role in a disaster. Ensure that there are documented processes and don't rely on assumptions or 'common sense': we don’t know how individuals will react.  
  • Survive: It's likely your staff will need flexibility to deal with what’s happening in their life, maybe for some time. Support them through this.  
  • Thrive: Businesses should focus on retaining existing staff, perhaps through non-monetary means, profit share incentives or staff sharing with other organisations to manage fluctuations in workflow.
  • Prepare: Connect with Business Canterbury and other organisations who may be help you deal with uncertainty. Know your neighbours.  
  • Survive: Communicate with your customers and supply chain partners as soon as possible to let them know you are operating.
  • Thrive: When you reopen, communicate this far and wide, including to media outlets which may be looking for positive news stories.   

"The pandemic has highlighted the importance of having an up-to-date business continuity plan to prepare for any form of crisis or disruption-type event"

Jason SmithCEO Risk Management Institute of Australasia

For Further Information

We have compiled the following links to help provide more information.

  • Continuity and contingency planning tips from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
  • Find out more about Recover Canterbury – an organisation that was pivotal in the survival and re-establishment of the Canterbury business community following a series of devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 – in The Recover Canterbury Story


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