Quake-damaged books restored
Its print finishing business initially took a big knock after the February 2011 earthquake because it could not operate from its premises for nearly two months, and many of its customers were shut for several months.
However, with its experience in the bookbinding and restoring trade the fourth-generation, family-run business picked up work repairing and restoring valuable books damaged in the earthquake.
Johnny McHarg and his brother, Tim, are the fourth generation of McHargs to run the business and have taken over from their father, Stu McHarg, who now spends more time in the production side of the business.
Valuable law journals and irreplaceable items such as family bibles were in need of repair after the earthquake.
"We've done a lot of repair work through the earthquake but there's obviously a lot more that we can do as well," Johnny McHarg said.
"We've done a lot of repair work for lawyers, they have old historical books that have been severely damaged ... like law journals.
"For some people it's probably the end of the line in terms of priorities, but for lawyers, they obviously need those journals to go back to.
"We've kept that restoration part continuously going," he said.
"Print finishing is the major part [of the business] but bookbinding is where the business started from, so it's nice to be able to keep our hand in that and provide that service," Stu McHarg said.
McHarg's print finishing business initially slumped after the earthquake because it does a lot of folding, collating and binding work for Christchurch printing companies, but that has since recovered as its customers got back up and running.
The February quake did not damage McHarg's building but it was cordoned off for several weeks and they could not operate from there because they could not access the rear entrance, where deliveries took place.
The business in St Asaph St was closed from February 22 to April 22 and had to let two staff go. McHarg's had survived on business interruption insurance.
"It saved our bacon," Johnny McHarg said.
Customers such as Craigs in Invercargill had been supportive by keeping work back until McHarg's could start operating again.
McHarg's hopes foot traffic will now start to improve.
Several machines had been replaced with modern equipment and its insurer, Vero, had been very good to deal with, Johnny McHarg said. Although he did help the process along by spending an hour on the phone with them every day after the quake. McHarg's had been fully paid out for business interruption.
With help from Recover Canterbury, McHarg's had updated its website and worked out a recovery plan.
Therese Banks, business recovery co-ordinator at Recover Canterbury, said the business was "well on the road to recovery" which meant jobs would be kept in Canterbury.
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