Free airtime for quake-hit firms

A new women's shopping channel will give free airtime to 30 earthquake-hit Canterbury businesses to help boost their profile.

The Shopping Channel is due to go live on Freeview and Sky TV on October 1, offering home shopping aimed at Kiwi women.

It has sought out Canterbury businesses disrupted by the quakes, giving them a free half-hour segment on nationwide television that will be repeated several times in October.

The Shopping Channel chief executive Alistair Duff said the airtime used and the cost of producing 30-minute segments for the businesses was worth about $180,000.

The Kick Start Canterbury project was driven by Ogilvy managing director Greg Partington, whose family trust owns The Shopping Channel, Duff said.

''He wanted to help, he understood; he's come from a small business himself.''

The plan was to give Christchurch businesses who had weathered the tough post-quake scene the chance to show their products and boost their sales.

Rather than selling the Kick Start companies through the channel's website, customers would be directed to the businesses' websites.

The businesses had been through a tough time and for some the quake issues remained, he said.

''It's quite clear with this group when you meet them that they had made the decision to move forward; that, yes, things weren't good, but they made that decision to continue,'' he said. ''We're hoping that people will see that.''

The Shopping Channel will transmit on the frequency recently vacated by canned Television New Zealand-owned channel TVNZ 7.

The Press