Jaimee Morgan worked for seven years at Hokitika Collision Centre, where he completed his apprenticeship and qualified as an Automotive Refinisher.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and the work, and I was always looking for the next opportunity to better the business and myself,” Jaimee says.
After the COVID-19 lockdown, the previous owner offered to sell the business, presenting Jaimee a chance to become his own boss.
“I grabbed it with two hands. This was a life opportunity that I did not want to pass.
I was a 25-year-old, with a young family, and now I am an employer to six staff.
“It was not easy for a young man like myself to buy a business, I jumped through hoops to achieve it.
“After trying several other services for funding, I approached DWC, it was effortless, and they supported myself and my ideas. DWC were a big help to get me across the first line and they have followed through with ongoing support and help.
“Currently leading into my first year of owning the business, I quickly learnt my responsibilities, and the different challenges to overcome.
"The previous owner has helped me through the transition of being an employee to employer, and still continues to help frequently."
Jaimee also believes being based on the West Coast has been an advantage.
“I appreciate the support of the locals. Taking on the business after the initial COVID-19 lockdown was a risk but thankfully local assistance is continuing to come through the door.
DWC Chief Executive Heath Milne says business succession is a significant challenge facing a number of West Coast businesses.
“It’s great to see a young Coaster like Jaimee work his way up, ensuring there is a safe pair of hands for a business to transition to.”