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Christchurch cuts council costs for struggling city centre businesses

Christchurch City Council has agreed to allocate up to $1.45 million to subsidise council costs that businesses face.

Close-up of woman holding piece of pizza and having lunch together with her family at the table
Photo: 123RF

The city's central business district is struggling to stay afloat with foot traffic low while people work from home and gathering restrictions are in place.

The funds were decided on in a council meeting on Thursday, when councillors heard submissions from business leaders.

Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel said people needed to get out and support local shops, cafes, restaurants and bars if they wanted them to survive.

"Many of the businesses that are hurting are small businesses owned by locals in our community. They are the businesses that add vibrancy and character to our city and it is really important for our community and our economy that they stay open," she said.

Dalziel said cutting the council costs for businesses was a quick and simple way for the council to show businesses its support.

Hospitality New Zealand Canterbury branch president Peter Morrison said it was vital council stepped in.

"The subsidy will be the saviour for us," he added.

A number of other ideas to stimulate foot traffic and trade in the city centre were still being worked on, and would potentially include free tram rides, Dalziel said.

"In the meantime, we have two long weekends coming up this month. If you're staying in Christchurch for Easter and Anzac weekends, please make an effort to get out and support a local business,'' Dalziel urged.