Kia Ora! My name is Jeriel Sajan & I have been a part of the Chamber team for just over a month now.

What an amazing month it has been! I joined the HB Chamber a mere 3 weeks before announcements for moving to Alert Level 3 & 4 were made due to changes in the circumstances related to COVID-19.

Our worlds changed in a matter of days and starting a new job isn’t easy, even under normal circumstances. However, the transition into the chamber team was one of the easiest I have ever experienced.  The team’s visions & work practices match so well with my own, it only took a couple of days to get settled. But with the direction NZ was moving there was no time to get settled so it was amazing to see the way the HB Chamber team adapted and changed to match the current environment.

We made dynamic manoeuvres to keep providing the support that businesses need now more than ever. Along with my work at the Chamber, I also work part time & Bendon Lingerie & it has been fascinating to see the changes over time in Napier CBD. I saw international tourism slow down, then locals stopped coming into town till we had days where the streets were almost empty as people were too fearful to be in public places. As someone at the front line of retail, it was clear that this sector would be incredibly devastated by the announcements & uncertainty. But the businesses are close in Napier & we still feel hope as we get ready for recovery.

I am so grateful to see both sides of the spectrum: to experience the need & to support those in need. There is going to be a lot of opportunity in the coming months

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