Tourism Support Funding

Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan

Great South is the lead agency for the delivery of the Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan in Southland. 


The plan includes three initiatives available to tourism businesses based within the Southland District Council rating area, one of five South Island communities most impacted by the loss of international visitors.

Applications for the Business Advisory Support and Advice Implementation Grant are open until 31 August 2022

Applications for the Tourism Kick-start Fund are now open! 


Business Advisory Support application form

Business Advice implementation application form

Business Advisory Support and Business Advice Implementation Grant FAQs

Tourism Kick-Start Fund application form

You can find more information about all three funds further down this page. 

More information about the Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan is available on the MBIE website.


How to apply

The application process is the same for all three grants. Download the application form for the fund or funds you are applying for (you can apply for all three).

 Complete the form/s and email along with any supporting documents to  tourismsupport@greatsouth.nz.


Business Advisory Support

The Business Advisory Support available for eligible businesses is a maximum of $5,000 per business operation (excluding GST). It enables businesses to receive expert advice and support through the Regional Business Partner Network (RBP) at Great South. This advice is in addition to any previous advice that a business may have received through the RBP Network.

The objective of the Business Advisory Support is to support long term outcomes for businesses. This includes helping businesses to make hard decisions to navigate and manage an uncertain long-term global and domestic outlook.

The Business Advisory Support initiative will be open for 1 year, from 31 August 2021 to 31 August 2022. 


Eligibility criteria

Your business must:

  • be physically based within the Southland District Council rating area
  • be a GST registered business, or GST registered prior to COVID-19 (2019/20 financial year);
  • have a New Zealand Business Number. If you do not have a New Zealand Business Number, you can register to get one on the NZBN website:
  • Get your NZBN — there's one for every Kiwi business(external link) — NZBN
  • be operating in a commercial environment;
  • be a privately‐owned business or Māori Trust or incorporation under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 or similar organisation managing Māori assets under multiple ownership;
  • be a tourism business, which is defined as a business where at least 50% of its operational output is purchased by tourists (domestic or international), for example: Accommodation, Arts and Recreational Services, Food Services, Transport Services or Retail Trade. This can include service businesses whose output is purchased by tourism businesses.

Charitable Trusts, Incorporated Societies, Non-business entities, and Local and Central Governments are ineligible.


What can I get advice on?

Businesses can access expert advice and support in 1 or more of the following subject areas:

  • HR & employee relations and legal (e.g. contract law, legal requirements)
  • Financial and cash flow management (e.g. budgeting, forecasting, scenario planning)
  • Health and wellness (e.g. employee mental health & wellness, resilience building and stress management)
  • Business continuity planning (e.g. workforce planning, risk management)
  • Marketing strategy (e.g. digital marketing strategy, branding, digital advertising)
  • Digital enablement strategy (e.g. website development, automated booking)
  • Hibernation and exit advice (e.g. liquidation support)Management capability development (e.g. training services to improve management capability within the business).

    Business Advisory Support application form

Business Advice Implementation Grant

The Business Advice Implementation Grant available for eligible businesses is a maximum of $5000 per business operation (excluding GST). This grant is intended to support businesses to implement advice they have received through the Business Advisory Support initiative or a satisfactory alternative provider. This advice may come from multiple providers if the expense for each is approved, and the total across all providers does not exceed the total advice grant of $5000 per business operation (excluding GST).

This grant is only available to implement advice that the Lead Entity has approved. Advice must have been provided in a written format, so there is an audit trail for the grants. This could be as simple as a short description outlining the advice provided.

The Business Advice Implementation Grant will be open for 1 year period from 31 August 2021 to 31 August 2022. 

Eligibility criteria

Your business must:

  • be physically based within the Southland District Council rating area and have received advice from the Regional Business Partner Network, or an alternative channel that has been approved by the Growth Advisor employed by Great South;
  • be a GST registered business, or GST registered prior to COVID-19 (2019/20 financial year);
  • have a New Zealand Business Number. If you do not have a New Zealand Business Number, you can register to get one on the NZBN website:
  • Get your NZBN — there's one for every Kiwi business(external link) — NZBN
  • be operating in a commercial environment;
  • be a privately‐owned business or Māori Trust or incorporation under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 or similar organisation managing Māori assets under multiple ownership;
  • be a tourism business, which is defined as a business where at least 50% of its operational output is purchased by tourists (domestic or international), for example: Accommodation, Arts and Recreational Services, Food Services, Transport Services or Retail Trade. This can include service businesses whose output is purchased by tourism businesses.

Charitable Trusts, Incorporated Societies, Non-business entities, and Local and Central Governments are ineligible.

What can the grant be spent on?

The Business Advice Implementation Grant can be used for operational activities in 1 or more of the following categories:

  • HR & employee relations and legal (e.g. contract law, legal requirements)
  • Financial and cash flow management (e.g. budgeting, forecasting, scenario planning)
  • Health and wellness (e.g. employee mental health & wellness, resilience building and stress management)
  • Business continuity planning (e.g. workforce planning, risk management)
  • Marketing strategy (e.g. digital marketing strategy, branding, digital advertising)
  • Digital enablement strategy (e.g. website development, automated booking)
  • Hibernation and exit advice (e.g. liquidation support)
  • Management Capability Training and Coaching.

The Business Advice Implementation Grant cannot be used for:

  • advice already implemented and paid for (i.e. historic payments are ineligible)
  • anything that is not detailed in the professional advice already received
  • capital expenditure (e.g. purchasing computer hardware, vehicles, boats, planes)
  • employees of the business for advice implementation to mitigate the risk of conflicts of interest or perverse behaviour
  • any other situation where an actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest may exist, without prior written approval from the Lead Entity.

    Business Advice implementation application form

Tourism Kick-start Fund 

Alongside the Business Advisory Support initiative and Business Advice Implementation Grant, the Government is making wider support available through the Tourism Kick-start Fund ($49 million) to help tourism businesses within the Southland District Council rating area prepare for the return of international visitors.

The Tourism Kick-start Fund is linked to the border re-opening, so the accelerated move to re-opening our border and removal of self-isolation for vaccinated travellers means it is timely to now open the fund.

The Tourism Kick-start Fund available for eligible businesses is between a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $50,000 per business operation (excluding GST). This grant is a contribution to increasing businesses’ levels of service in preparation for the return of international visitors and should not be relied upon to sustain the business.

Eligibility criteria

Your business must:

  1. be a GST registered business, or GST registered prior to COVID-19 (either the 2018/19 or 2019/20 financial year);
  2. have a New Zealand Business Number. If you do not have a New Zealand Business Number, you can register to get one on the NZBN website:
  3. be operating in a commercial environment;
  4. be a privatelyowned business or Māori Trust or incorporation under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 or similar organisation managing Māori assets under multiple ownership;
  5. be a tourism business, which is defined as a business where at least 50% of its operational output is purchased by tourists (domestic or international), for example: Accommodation, Arts and Recreational Services, Food Services, Transport Services or Retail Trade. This can include service businesses whose output is purchased by tourism businesses;
  6. be physically based within the Southland District Council rating area (1 grant per business operation);
  7. have engaged in hibernation-like activities, for example: reduced opening hours, level of services, customers or business capacity due to COVID-19. Compared to either the 2018/19 or 2019/20 financial year, a business must have experienced a drop in annual revenue of at least 50%;
  8. have a minimum annual revenue of $60,000 pre-COVID-19 (either the 2018/19 or 2019/20 financial year); 
  9. not have received direct Government tourism support from the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme; and

10.     pass a viability test demonstrating that the business will remain viable and operating up to and beyond the border re-opening. This can be discussed with your Growth Advisor.

Charitable Trusts, Incorporated Societies, Non-business entities, Local and Central Governments are ineligible.


What can the grant be spent on?

The Tourism Kick-start Fund can be used for some or all of the following operational activities:

  • Recruitment and wages for staff
  • Training
  • Operating expenditure (e.g. restocking, certification, WOF, accounting software)
  • Fixed overheads (e.g. office leases)
  • Marketing
  • Repairs and maintenance directly related to scaling up business operations.


The Tourism Kick-start Fund cannot be used for:

  • capital expenditure (e.g. purchasing computer hardware, vehicles, boats, planes)
  • any other situation where an actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest may exist, without prior written approval from Great South.
  • paying off debt your business has incurred.

Tourism Kick-start Fund application form


It is intended that payments are made to eligible businesses as soon as possible once applications and supporting documents have been received, assessed and processed. Exact processing and payment times depend on demand for the Fund.


For further information, check the MBIE website or email tourismsupport@greatsouth.nz

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