Napier City Business Inc lodged a formal letter to Immigration supporting the Debords.
I write on behalf of Napier City Business Inc, a membership organisation representing 450 businesses that employ 2000 plus employees in the Napier CBD.
Cafe Tennyson owners, Julien and Sophie Debord along with their two young children arrived in NZ late in 2018 and were granted an entrepreneur visa which is now pending cancellation by Immigration New Zealand on Monday 21st March 2022 due to the Debord’s not meeting their business plan and targets which were set prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the Debords’ ownership, the cafe quickly became a Napier City icon, An institution, bustling daily with local business people, families, and visitors. Their clean, fresh french flair added to the vibrant cafe culture Napier is so well known for now and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the hardest of COVID-19 times, a number of cafes surrounding them made the decision to close however the Debords were committed to riding the COVID storm for their loyal locals and stayed open facing the obvious, a major decline in revenue and huge staff shortages.
We urge you to intervene and accept their Entrepreneur Resident Visa application based on the following grounds which were taken completely out of the Debord’s control:
The huge global financial downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
The huge impact the pandemic has on the Debords’ original business plan which is uncontrollable on their behalf
On-going lockdowns and border closures since March 2019
2021 continuous lockdowns and the inability to trade
2022 Omicron in the community and the community staying home
The business and local government staff sector has largely worked from home since the pandemic began. (These regulars would otherwise be providing the Debords’ bread and butter income)
Napier City-wide decrease in foot traffic and revenue turnover.
Given there is an 85% correlation between foot traffic and café/ hospitality turnover in Napier, the last 2 years have been an exceptionally difficult environment in which to achieve pre COVID turnover levels.
Once the rules relax and domestic travel becomes more comfortable, international borders open and we welcome cruise ships passengers to our iconic Art Deco city, we absolutely need cafes like the Debords to be open and trading so please, with respect we ask you to reconsider your decision and grant the Debord’s an extension of current visa entitlement or grant them their Entrepreneur residence visa and the right to stay in New Zealand.
Napier City Business Inc
The following local people also provided letters of support and a petittion with 6000 signatures.
Mayor Kirsten Wise – Napier City Council
Councillor Sally Crown – Napier City Council
Napier City Business Inc members
National MP for Taupo Louise Upston
We would like to take this opportunity to thank NCBI member Kathryn Mcgarvey from the Meaningful Marketing Company,
for all her hard work implementing the on-line petition which has now reach nearly 6000 signatures. We beleive this will make a huge impact on the decision immigration NZ and the Governments will make. We will be tabling the petition to parliament on Thursday.
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