Business Wales can help says Economy Minister

Economy Minister Ken Skates has called on businesses across Wales to take advantage of the advice and guidance being provided by the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service in dealing with the economic impact of coronavirus.

Business Wales has a highly experienced team of advisers that can help firms with the most demanding of challenges, including how to minimise the effects of Covid-19 on business.

The service offers access to practical information, expert webinars, virtual 1-2-1 advisory meetings and telephone support, as well as access to mentors and further specialist support. It can provide advice across a wide range of issues facing businesses including the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic and preparations for the UK’s exit from the EU.

Economy Minister Ken Skates said: “Coronavirus has had an impact like no other on our economy and Welsh entrepreneurs face some of the most challenging decisions of their career.

“As a government, we are doing all that we can to ensure our business community get through this extraordinary period and prepare for the challenges ahead. Business Wales has provided first-class support to thousands of people over recent years and have continued doing so through the pandemic. They stand ready to provide practical, relevant  and valuable advice and guidance to those who need it at this difficult time. “

The Business Wales service provides an array of support from conducting a review of the business to finding new opportunities; working to better understand customer requirements to help with HR issues, remote working and changing regulations, including around the UK’s exit from the EU.

Over the past three years, Business Wales has helped over 15,000 people start or grow their businesses and has supported the launch of more than 3,600 new enterprises.

The Welsh Government’s package of business assistance has been vital in supporting firms through the pandemic. More than £760m worth of business rate support grants have been made to over 64,000 businesses, while the unique Economic Resilience Fund has already provided help to more than 12,000 firms in Wales, protecting in excess of 75,000 jobs.

The Minister added: “We want to support our entrepreneurs to recover from this pandemic stronger and unleash the strong entrepreneurial spirit we have here in Wales.

“We know that business resilience is improved with access to the right support and I urge you to take advantage of the support available.”

Abigail Chamberlain, from Welsh Luxury Hamper Company in Chepstow has benefitted from the Business Wales service. She has already attracted interest from global brands including John Lewis and Fine and Country Estate Agents and is accessing support through the Business Wales Big Ideas Wales programme to help with her costs, pricing strategy and with establishing partnerships with potential clients and suppliers.

She said: “I plan to grow my business and be able to offer a wider range of products to a growing list of customers. I am currently working on several large contracts and intend to use the Welsh Luxury Hamper Company as a platform to encourage other young women into the business and tackle the gender imbalance that exists within the industry.”

Beyond Breakout, a new escape room experience in Newtown run by Lorna Morris and Jo Woodall has also benefitted from Business Wales support. The two entrepreneurs received Business Wales help to  develop their initial idea as well as help with their business plan, marketing and financial forecasting.

Lorna said: “The Business Wales support  we have received has been completely invaluable, and has included helping us to complete a cashflow forecast, developing a business plan, completing a partnership agreement and leading us to the Start-Up Loans Company, where we successfully secured a £10,000 loan.

“We are looking to open a further two escape rooms, bringing our total to four. Additionally, we would like to take our ideas into schools by developing escape room type puzzles linked to school curriculum.”

The Welsh Government has indicated that further funding, advice and support will be available to business through later phases of the Economic Resilience Fund in the coming months.

To get in touch with Business Wales and see how it can provide information, advice and guidance to start, sustain and grow your business visit https://www.businesswales.gov.wales/campaigns/support or call 03000 6 03000