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Business

Locals looking to buy ironmongers shop in Newport, Pembrokeshire

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THE POWER of community ownership is what the residents of Newport, Pembrokeshire wish to achieve as they prepare to buy the local shop known as Havards. 

The project has gained great momentum over the first few weeks of launching the initiative.

The volunteers involved in developing the project wish to purchase the Havards Ironmongers shop in Newport to ensure the shop is kept open. 

Committee chairman Adrian Varney noted “We are asking people to fill in a pledge form to buy £200 community shares or giving a community loan to the project that was launched in July”

The project has currently received pledges to the value of £163,400 within a few weeks. Cris Tomos of PLANED who has supported many community asset purchases explained “There is a target of £240,000 to be raised locally to buy the shop in Newport, the list of pledges will be a great demonstration of how there is a demand to save the historic ironmongers” 

Cris added “The funds raised will be used to draw down match-funding from the Community Ownership Fund”  

Details about the community shop project can be found on www.siophavards.cymru where a copy of the form can be downloaded. Paper copies of the forms are available at the Havards Shop.

The next public meetings to update locals will be held at the Newport Memorial Hall on  Wednesday evening the 25th of August at 6.30pm.

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Business

Local organisations urged to take advantage of ‘Transforming Towns’ fund

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Town centre property owners in Pembrokeshire interested in improving their buildings and/or sites are being urged to apply for funds available from Welsh Government.

The Transforming Towns ‘Place Making’ grant offers support for a wide range of projects, from green infrastructure developments to internal and external commercial and residential improvements, with the aim of reducing the number of empty, underused sites and premises in town centres.

The scheme is open to private businesses, including developers, third sector businesses, and the public sector. It is not available to private individuals. It is available within the town centre areas of:

  • Fishguard and Goodwick
  • Milford Haven
  • Pembroke
  • Pembroke Dock
  • Tenby
  • Haverfordwest

Also available is the Transforming Towns ‘Town Centre Loan Fund’.

Owners can apply for secured loans, for a maximum term of five years, for projects that meet core eligibility criteria. Loans are interest-free, but subject to a one-off administration fee to cover costs associated with administering the scheme.

The fund aims to reduce the number of empty sites and properties. Applicants can include town centre businesses, private landlords, social housing associations and property developers.

Once the loan is repaid, the local authority can use it again to fund new loans and re-invest in similar projects. It must be re-invested three times over 15 years.

Town Centre loans and grants are administered by Pembrokeshire County Council.

Rachel Moxey, Head of Economic Development and Regeneration, urged all those eligible to receive the funds to consider submitting an application. “Town centres are facing major challenges in light of Covid-19 and these funds from Welsh Government are a fantastic opportunity for businesses and organisations to improve, regenerate and develop their buildings or sites,” she said.

For further information, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, please email: town.grants@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

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Business

Applications for Covid-19 emergency business fund open

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A ROUND of Covid-19 support for businesses and sole traders that do not pay rates is now open for applications.

The discretionary Emergency Business Fund is part of a £120m package of support announced by the Welsh Government following the move to Alert Level 2.

The fund is to support businesses in the hospitality, tourism, retail, leisure sector or related supply chain businesses, including creative freelancers and taxi drivers.

More information about the fund and the application process can be found on the Pembrokeshire County Council website at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-support/emergency-business-fund-january-2022

Applications will close at 5pm on, February 14 2022. Businesses are asked to complete the application form carefully.

There are two grants available:

• Grant A:
A £1,000 cash grant payment for hospitality, tourism, retail and related supply chain businesses which do not employ anyone apart from the owner, and do not have a property. This includes qualifying sole traders, freelancers and taxi drivers.

• Grant B:
A £2,000 cash grant payment for hospitality, tourism, retail, leisure and related supply chain businesses who employ staff through PAYE (in addition to the owner).

Supply chain businesses are defined as a business that generates 60% or more of its sales revenue from businesses directly impacted by the restrictions.

The funding is intended to cover the business impact from the December 13 2021 to the February 14 2022.

The Pembrokeshire County Council’s business support pages are at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-support

On the business support pages you will also find details of the NDR linked grant (which opened last week) and how to apply.

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Business

Applications open for emergency financial support from Economic Resilience Fund

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Eligible businesses can apply for grants of between £2,500 to £25,000

BUSINESSES in Wales impacted by the rapid spread of the Omicron virus can now apply for emergency financial support from the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF).

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething previously said £120 million would be available for retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism business and their supply chains affected by the move to alert level 2 announced by the First Minister on Wednesday 22 December.

Eligible businesses can apply for grants of between £2,500 to £25,000, with grants dependent on their size and number of employees.

The application window will be open for two weeks, with payments starting to reach businesses within days.

Vaughan Gething

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said:

“Following positive engagement with businesses, trades unions and other partners, we recently changed the eligibility criteria for the ERF support. The ERF grant is a Wales-only top up payment that currently supports eligible businesses who have seen a 60% drop in their income between December and February compared with the same period two years ago. The new criteria means that businesses in these sectors who have seen a 50% reduction in their turnover will now also be able to access the ERF.

“This means more businesses will receive more support from the Welsh Government.”

Non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses in Wales can also receive support from the Non Domestic Rates (NDR) linked grant which is being administered by local authorities. Businesses will be entitled to a payment of £2,000, £4,000 or £6,000 depending on their rateable value.

Local authorities are also administrating a discretionary fund for sole traders, freelancers and taxi drivers and businesses that employ people but do not pay business rates. Last week this was doubled to £1,000.

The Welsh Government has provided in excess of £2.5bn funding to Welsh businesses since the start of the pandemic. Focused particularly on backing small businesses and Welsh communities, it’s targeted approach has helped protect in excess of 160,000 Welsh jobs which might otherwise have been lost.

Apply for Economic Resilience Fund support here:

COVID-19 Support for Business | Business Wales (gov.wales)

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