National | Business

King Kapisi shares the aroha to celebrate businesses’ 10-year milestones

NZ hip-hop icon King Kapisi has teamed up with Mastercard to help celebrate small businesses in Aotearoa that have reached the milestone of being in business for a decade.

Stats NZ’s latest figures showed that among all businesses founded in the country a decade ago, fewer than one in three remain today.

That number drops to a quarter for those in accommodation and food services and retail trade.

Mastercard will present letters from ‘the King’ to worthy small businesses to express gratitude for their commitment.

Kapisi, real name Bill Urale (Sāmoa), says, “10 years is a long time for any small business to be in, so [it’s about] making sure they get a little appreciation and aroha, to be able to show them and say ‘Here’s a big congratulations for 10 years’.”

“We just have to celebrate because with Covid a lot of businesses went under.

‘You are the bomb’

“It’s for anyone around the country to say ‘Congratulations, you are the bomb, keep on doing your thing because, without you, our communities won’t work.”

Kapisi will also make a few personal appearances at businesses to show appreciation in person.

“We’ve had such a bad couple of years. People are still struggling now. I think from a personal point of view, me being a small business, it’s been hard, it’s been hard for musicians.

“It’s a bit of upliftment and love to be given because there’s not much out there.”

Kapisi wants businesses to gather and express aroha and appreciation for each other to make their journeys, whether it be financial struggles, tax troubles or the like, easier to navigate.

“I think most of us from the Pasifika and Māori communities, we’re very scared to ask questions but we have to because, within the business structure, there’s no colour. There’s only a right or wrong, a yes or no.

“If you can find people who appreciate what you do, you have to find your community even within the business community.”