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last updated 20/03/2023


How franchisors supported franchisees after Gabrielle

last updated 20/03/2023


March 2023 – How did franchisors help after the Anniversary Day floods and Cyclone Gabrielle?

The Anniversary Day floods and Cyclone Gabrielle turned summer from a happy and relaxed time into a period of danger, despair and stress for many people, small business owners included.

Franchisees were at least able to turn to their colleagues for support, and at a recent Franchise Association evening a number of franchisors outlined the steps they had taken to help franchisees affected by the weather events, from practical and financial support to co-ordinating help from other franchisees and assisting with recovery efforts and insurance claims. The inability to contact people added to the stress for many, and franchisees were also faced with seeing their customers in distress. The FANZ session demonstrated once again just how deeply good franchisors care about their franchisees, and how much effort they put into supporting them when disasters strike.

One touching story came from The Coffee Club, which had a new franchisee in Napier hit by the floods just 11 days after opening. The new café was closed for 8 days, then had to start all over again. The franchisor flew two staff down to help, and also encouraged suppliers to donate free product to help the franchisees get back on their feet. The franchisee said, ‘No, there are people worse off than us,’ and made up 150 lunch bags using the donated product to give to the volunteers helping the worst affected.

While immediate action was essential in the aftermath of the weather events, franchisors recognised that some franchisees would require long-term support as they coped with the impact on their business, home and community.  

The Franchise Relationships Institute offers a free Franchisee Support Kit to assist franchisors and others wanting to help franchisees and families affected by disasters. The kit contains tips, strategies and practical guidelines for providing both business and psychological support – see more at www.franchise.co.nz/articles/1209

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