With New Zealand nearing the end of a 10-day lockdown due to Covid 19 in Auckland and Wellington, many businesses are doing it tough.
In Otago, Business South is the new entity which combines the skills and experience of the Chamber of Commerce, and the Employers' Association.
NICKY ALDRIDGE-MASTERS is the acting CEO, and joined us via zoom.
The median house price in Otago has reached a new high of $296,000.
That's a $16,000 jump compared to this time last year.
Prices are mostly up in rural areas but down in Dunedin, and overall sales volumes have fallen 7% in the last 12 months.
Otago is one of six regions in the country to hit a new record high median sale price.
Smaller increases are also being reported in Southland and the Queenstown Lakes area.
There has been a large jump in sales volumes in Gore and commentators say demand from first home buyers remains solid.
Organisers of the iD Dunedin Fashion Week are looking at ways to cut costs after reporting an almost $55,000 loss.
The society in charge of the annual fashion week just publicly confirmed the deficit.
In the 2015 financial year it enjoyed a net profit of more than $120,000.
But that's turned into a net loss of just under $55,000 following this year's event.
Income dropped and expenditure increased for the society, disappointing members.
They're blaming lower than expected ticket sales and are now looking at trimming costs and boosting sponsorship.
The society reportedly has healthy reserves for continuing the event.
Otago is the second fastest growing region in the country in relation to tourism, according to the latest statistics.
It's second only to the Nelson region, which has had 11.7% growth in tourism expenditure.
The figure for Otago is 9.6%.
That equates to $3.2b for the year to August.
Wanaka led the country for individual towns and cities, experiencing a $16.3% increase.
Dunedin's also had a winter tourism boom, thanks in part to a new promotion enticing Australians and New Zealanders to the city.
Clutha is the only part of Otago that has seen a slide in tourism expenditure, down 0.4%.
Port Otago has generated $7.3m for parent organisation the Otago Regional Council in the last financial year.
The company's just publicly announced its latest annual performance, reporting a group profit of just over $34m.
There has been an increase in export container volumes and higher valuations on investment properties.
But the log industry has declined slightly, as have import container volumes and cruise ship numbers.
Port Otago's well into its planned $45m infrastructure upgrade, spanning several years.
The latest stage of the Cromwell town centre redevelopment is beginning to take shape.
Work on the Big Fruit Reserve started in July and is on schedule to be completed by November.
And locals are hoping it'll entice passers-by to stop for more than just a photo opportunity.
A two-month Enterprise Dunedin campaign to entice people to the city is costing stakeholders almost $100,000.
The city council's footing half the bill, with partner organisations covering the rest.
Those involved say it's money well spent but the project is attracting scrutiny.
Fonterra has indicated it will increase its 2016/2017 farmgate milk price.
The rise of 50c to $4.75 per kilogram of milk solids is seen as a positive signal for farmers.
Federated Farmers dairy industry spokesperson Andrew Hoggard says the announcement will likely boost dairy farmer optimism, and make their bank managers 'more cheerful'.
The price of petrol is heading up, once again.
The price per litre has increased 11c in just under a fortnight, to $1.88 for 91 octane.
The rises have been attributed to the increasing cost of refining crude over the same period.
Industry watchdogs are expecting the price to remain at the present level in the short term.
A barrel of petrol is now costing more than $NZ82.
Beef and lamb exports to key markets have fallen.
Statistics New Zealand figures show total exports were worth $4b in July.
That's down 19% on the same month last year.
The largest decrease was in lamb exports, which are down 29%.
The drop has been attributed to record meat exports at this time last year, when they were 31% higher than the average over the previous five years.
The United States and the EU are the largest export destinations for beef and lamb.
New figures show the number of people coming to New Zealand is increasing.
Statistics New Zealand says more than 20,000 extra visitors spent time in the country during July, compared with the same month last year.
The rise was due mainly to a 21% increase in holiday arrivals, from Australia, China and the United States.
As well, visitor arrivals numbered 237,900 last month, setting a new July record.
Businesses with large electricity bills now have an option to contract their supply thanks to Dunedin company, Energy Link.
The Energy Exchange is based on mathematical algorithms, capable of processing and analysing offers from thousands of sites on a single contract.
Having all electricity retailer information available in one on-line platform is the first of its kind in New Zealand.
Silver Fern Farms shareholders have voted to merge with Chinese company Shanghai Maling.
The vote was held after a lengthy meeting at the company's Otago headquarters.
And despite much heated debate, just over 80% of shareholders were in favour of the merger.
A Dunedin tertiary institution has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to the Otago economy.
Figures from the latest Otago Polytechnic Economic Impact Report show it's contributed $255M to the region.
Its global economic impact for 2015 was valued at nearly $290M.
Chief executive Phil Ker says the report illustrates the institute's significance to Otago, having a direct influence on local economic development.
New Zealand wool prices were mixed at the latest South Island auction, with buyers focused on specific wool types.
Prices for mid-micron wool increased an average of 1% compared with last week's South Island auction, with 27 micron wool rising to 20c a kilogram.
75% of the almost 5000 bales on offer were sold at auction.
However that’s down from 85% last week, which was the highest clearance rate since the end of May.