Wellington Business on Show at Beehive

12 September 2011

Wellington businesses will be on show at Parliament this Wednesday 14 September as part of the city's first business expo, BIG (Business Innovation Growth).

Seventy businesses, ranging from emerging start-ups to some of the region's largest and best-known enterprises, will be at the Beehive to share their stories and successes with politicians.

The event has been promoted by Wellington City Council, principally Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Councillor Jo Coughlan, the Council's Economy Portfolio Leader, with support from Grow Wellington, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Positively Wellington Tourism, Creative HQ and the Wellington Employers' Chamber of Commerce.

It will be hosted by local Parliamentarians Hon Chris Finlayson, Hon Peter Dunne and Charles Chauvel.

BIG will showcase Wellington's diverse range of industries, including advanced screen and digital, science and research, clean technology, IT and telecommunications, hi-tech manufacturing and professional services.

"The expo is an opportunity for us to demonstrate to the country's leaders that Wellington makes a significant contribution to the economic health of NZ Inc," says Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

"This event is about Wellington as a great place to do business. We need to demonstrate we are serious about retaining, attracting and growing talent, businesses and jobs in the city," she says. "Business people say they love our compact, creative and efficient capital."

Cr Coughlan says: "Wellington's contribution to NZ Inc is often underestimated. The private sector accounts for nearly 80% of Wellington's economy and just over 70% of our jobs.

"While we are home to an excellent public sector, Wellington can claim many international and national business success stories and we continue to actively nurture innovative start-ups," says Cr Coughlan.

"The response to BIG has been overwhelming - we have had more interest than space available - which tells me that that Wellington businesses want their stories told.

"BIG gives Wellington business people a valuable opportunity to showcase their successes, and to meet with key politicians and government officials with an interest in supporting business and growing the Wellington economy," says Cr Coughlan.

The expo follows a successful Wellington business delegation to Japan and China led by the Mayor and Cr Coughlan earlier this year.

"These delegations are important because they enable access to officials and civic leaders at high levels that they would not normally be possible," says Mayor Wade Brown.

"The Council is committed to enhancing Wellington's reputation as an internationally competitive business-friendly city. It is crucial our country's leaders understand the role Wellington plays and BIG is a practical way of demonstrating that the Capital City is a great place to do business, and is competitive on the world stage."

The BIG event is not open to the public. However, the Council has produced a prospectus profiling participating businesses:

Wellington Prospectus - Business Innovation Growth (BIG) (1.65Mb PDF)