It isn’t a business if it needs more government money

The sad face of a bludger looking to bludge some more but has been told no

The sad face of a bludger looking to bludge some more but has been told no

Some people really have an entitlement mentality.

A Southland woman who has received financial assistance from the Government to start a business has accused it of “dropping the ball” just as she is getting established.

The woman, Jill Bradshaw, says she will have to close her business unless the Government continues to support her.

However, the Ministry of Social Development says Bradshaw has received the maximum funding available for her business and there is now an expectation it be sustainable.

Bradshaw said if the Government did not continue to support her, the approximately $50,000 of government assistance she had received over the last few years would be wasted.

The road to starting her own business began several years ago when Bradshaw was working in a furniture shop.

It isn’t her own business…it is funded and subsidised by the government.  

She said she was unhappy with the work, went on the unemployment benefit and told Work and Income of her plans to start her own business making and selling cushions.

She used her unemployment benefit money to buy materials and make cushions before selling them wholesale, she said.

“They supported me over a two year period with the unemployment benefit and didn’t ask me to look for other work because they knew I was working towards my own self employment,” Bradshaw said.

Last year she decided to investigate opening her own store in the Invercargill CBD.

She applied for a grant, which the Government offered to support people into their own businesses, and was accepted for the grant after submitting  a business plan.

I bet that was a work of fiction.

Bradshaw said she received $10,000 to set up her shop, called Lily and Cedric Designer Cushions in Invercargill’s Dee St, and the remaining $13,000 was paid to her in monthly instalments for wages over an eight month period while she tried to get the business turning a profit.

However, she failed to turn a profit and asked Work and Income if she could go back onto the unemployment benefit while continuing to run her shop, she said.

She believed she needed ongoing support for another 6-12 months before her business became self sufficient.

“I think it takes that long for a business to get noticed,” Bradshaw said.

Her business was now at a pivotal point where she could cover expenses, but not support herself; she needed a bit more time to turn a profit, she said.

She said Work and Incone agreed to put her back on the unemployment benefit while she ran her shop, but told her she had to be available for fulltime work.

She was unimpressed, saying it was both ridiculous and impractical because no one would employ her while she was running a business.

As a taxpayer I’m unimpressed. This woman is just bludging in a  different way, but it is bludging nonetheless.

What has got me stuffed is why the Media party always pimp these stories to the public. The government shouldn’t be paying a cent towards subsidising  her business.

Hell’s teeth, perhaps I could do the same for my business. Get the dole to blog…hey it’s still not paying off, give me more dole.

The outrage here is that she thinks we as taxpayers should continue to provide her with a business that clearly doesn’t work, doesn’t pay and I bet is also behind on GST and PAYE payments.


– Fairfax


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  • sarahmw

    Maybe she could think about an online store, not much cost to set up or run. Or Trade Me could be another option.

    • willtin

      Shipping fluffy pillows would kill that idea – so maybe sell the covers and the customer can stuff them.

      • rantykiwi

        I think “stuffed” is the operative word.

  • willtin

    I have blown a lot of our own hard earned money on attempting to set up self-employment opportunities in the past. I say, good on this woman, for wanting to become self supporting, however I fail to see how ‘fancy cushions’ is ever going to be anything other than an arts and crafts type hobby business, and dare I say, an even lesser possibility in Invercargill. If it was her own well earned money she was blowing, then I might have a smidgen of sympathy.

  • STAG

    We often drive past this business and shake our heads, Southland is a lovely place (weather excepted of cause) but we are hardly the sort of community which has a huge desire for custom cushions. Its a foolish business and we never knew how it survived. turns out it doesn’t.

    Stop spending my taxes on your silly vanity project which any one with half a brain knew was stupid in the extreme to begin with.

    • DangerMice

      I could understand being based there if you had a big online business and maybe wanted lower overheads(?), but she doesn’t even have her own website.

      • metalnwood

        Yes, she would have done a lot better to get rid of the overheads and become a trademe store and then some visibility without the need for the IT costs either.

        • jcpry

          Etsy is another option. If your product is good/cheap enough you can go global.

  • localnews

    I’ve always wondered about the huge numbers of charity shops that seem to occupy brand new buildings. I guess it s the same thing, govt paid rent

  • Bob Dazzler

    Regretfully doomed from the outset. Those with oversight of “giving” the tax payers money lacked commercial nous.

  • haysel

    She’s clearly quite creative, but just as clearly has no business nous at all.
    The sort of person no bank would touch without the backing of the family home, hence the need for the taxpayer to fund her dream, you’ve had far more support than you deserve, TOUGH.

  • sandalwood789

    Ok, good on her for having a go, but *cushions*? There’s not exactly a huge market for those.

    She would have been better to have started up a food business of some kind. People have to eat. Ok, they don’t have to eat *your* food but if it is good enough and the price is right then they probably will.

  • Oh Please

    Must have been a great business plan if it involved selling $50k of cushions in Invercargil just to break even. Sheesh.

  • JLS

    The criteria for supporting start ups seems to be very non commercial- anyone with half an ounce of business sense could have told her it would never, ever be a viable business based on whats written there. More of my hard earned tax simply thrown away for no return. Maybe the smart thing would be to spend the money on a proven mentor who helps people find their own capital and build a viable business. If they can’t raise capital its probably a fairly good indication its a dud idea.

  • Lee

    There’s often more to a story than the media would like us to know, especially if it doesn’t suit their purpose. The writer missed several key facts in this piece and I noticed when Jill posted a reply under the original article it was quickly taken down.
    The paper told half a story, put their own slant on it, published it without permission and denied her the right of reply…censorship is alive and well in good old NZ

  • Woody

    Reading things like this really gets my dander up, I started my business with negative equity of $10k, not a sniff of taxpayers money to help and nor should I have had any. I worked hard and have built up a successful enterprise employing staff and now have equity that is nicely positive.

    We have also raised our children with no assistance from the long suffering taxpayers but we have had to go without some things to do so but nothing that was important.

    Hard work and offering what my clients want at an acceptable price and now I am expected to pay her to be a failure, is it any wonder I try to pay the minimum tax that I have to.

  • Red

    I can walk 100m from her store and buy cushions at several stores for half the price or less… I think that business plan may have been pretty creative

  • Lee

    In fairness these aren’t mass made Warehouse and Spotlight cushions.

  • D-Rad

    Why on gods green earth would you set up a shop???!!! Its 2016, sell online for crying out loud!!!!