Wrexham businesses receive almost £30m in emergency Covid support

Businesses in Wrexham have received emergency coronavirus support totaling almost £30m from the Welsh Labour Government.

The most up-to-date information shows 2,374 businesses of all sizes across the county borough have been awarded crucial support since the pandemic struck – with more being awarded every day.

Wrexham’s Member of the Senedd, Lesley Griffiths said: “This extraordinary period has seen an unprecedented amount of support provided to local businesses.

“The comprehensive measures introduced in Wales are the most generous in the UK and it is pleasing the funding has made a tangible difference to our community and benefited the lives of local people.

“The Welsh Labour Government will continue to do all it can to support our region as we start to recover from the pandemic.”

Welsh Government data shows 1,840 Wrexham businesses already in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief got grants of £10,000 and another 258 in the tourism and hospitality industry were awarded £25,000 each. In addition, more than 2,000 grants of £2,500 are currently being processed.

The Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF), which was designed to fill the gaps left by the UK Government’s support schemes, has so far awarded £4.69m to another 276 Wrexham firms.

The Fat Boar in Wrexham town centre benefited from the ERF.  Owner Rich Watkin said: “Despite the incredibly uncertain and challenging times, the funding my business received from the Welsh Government enabled me to plan for the future with confidence.

“It acted as a safety net and really took the pressure off.  I knew when we were allowed to reopen, we wouldn’t be in a worse position and I was able to invest in the necessary PPE and reemploy people sooner than originally anticipated.”

Based in Wrexham Bus Station, King Street Coffee qualified for a £10,000 grant via the Small Business Rates Relief scheme.

Owner Phil Gallanders said: “The funding I received was extremely helpful and timely.  I was able to use the grant to pay all my fixed overheads for the 3 months that I was closed and I was also able to ensure that any invoices with my local producers were paid off.

“I’ve also been able to invest in the necessary changes to the day-to-day operation needed due to Covid-19 and have made a small purchase in equipment that is going to help me build back better.”

Another town centre business, Bank Street Social also received £10,000 via the Small Business Rates Relief scheme.  Owner Andy Gallanders said: “The grant was a vital lifeline.  Whilst on lockdown I was able to create and build a website which has brought in extra income whilst the doors were closed.”

Plas Madoc Leisure Centre was awarded £55,000 through the ERF. Stella Matthews, chair of Splash Community Trust, which runs the centre, said: “The coronavirus outbreak and lockdown could have really set us back. This funding is so crucial for us and it’s a tremendous boost. We have always had fantastic support from the Welsh Government and they’ve always realised the importance of Plas Madoc to our area. We are so grateful to them.”

The Hand at Llanarmon was one of the first businesses to secure funding. Owner Jonathan Greatorex received an offer of £100,000 from the Development Bank of Wales, which was paid within a week of his application being submitted.

Mr Greatorex said: “The help available in Wales has been fantastic and we are so grateful to the Welsh Government for their support. The scheme really is a lifeline for us. With 25 staff, the funding from the Development Bank of Wales means that their jobs and our future are far more secure.”

Clwyd South MS Ken Skates said: “I am proud that the Welsh Government has been able to help so many local businesses, from small and medium-sized enterprises to key local employers and hotels and pubs. The Welsh Government’s support package for businesses is the most generous anywhere in the UK and more money reaching small businesses every day.

“Around 11% of all awards through the Economic Resilience Fund have been to businesses in North East Wales, and almost £28m has been awarded in total across North Wales. Sadly, it is impossible to help every single business, but the vast majority of applications have been successful and I’m pleased there are many which we have helped stay afloat.

“I’m proud to be part of a Welsh Labour Government which is standing up for our region.”