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First drive-in Powys Business Awards declared a big success



THE FIRST ever drive-in Powys Business Awards on the Newtown campus of NPTC Group of Colleges was declared a big success as the event was blessed with fine weather last Friday night.

Organised by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group (MWMG), the awards were held outdoors as a health safety precaution because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The awards

showcase business excellence across Powys and this attracted more entries than ever.

All the finalists were allocated a parking space in their vehicles in front of a stage and huge screen where their videos were played as the category nominations were read out either by compere Lisa Angharad or by sponsors.

Boxed meals were prepared by chefs and students from NPTC Group of Colleges and served to the guests attending event in their cars. Some brought chairs with them to sit outside their cars and mingle with other guests at an outside bar area.

Powys Business Awards 2021. Picture by Phil Blagg Photography. PB064-2021-62

Councillor Iain McIntosh, portfolio holder for housing, planning and economic regeneration at Powys County Council, said: “It has been a brilliant night and it’s fantastic to see so many great businesses here. I’d like to congratulate all the winners and indeed all finalists too.”

He  presented the Powys Business of the Year award to Aled Woosnam, owner of AL Technical and 23 Social, Newtown.

Introducing the award ceremony, Councillor Rosemarie Harris, leader of Powys County Council, said it was a night of celebration for Powys businesses which had shown great resilience during the pandemic. She thanked and congratulated MWMG for organising the event in a different format this year.

“I am told that there has been more interest than ever in the awards this year which is really exciting after all the challenges you have faced,” she added. “We are very proud of you and thank you for all you have done for Powys.”

During the pandemic, she said, the council had issued more than £90 million of grants to support companies and has earmarked a further £2 million for a Covid Recovery Fund in Powys.

The council continued to support economic development in Powys in a variety of ways, and a portfolio of projects had been submitted to the Mid Wales Growth Deal. There was still time for businesses and others to come forward with projects on the themes of agriculture, food and drink, digital sites and premises, with particular emphasis on expanding broadband coverage in the county.

Aware that some businesses were looking to expand, she urged them to speak to the council about their growth projects. The council had also been allowed for the first time to submit bids to the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund for economic development and she was hopeful they would be successful.

A Global Centre for Rail Excellence is also being developed near Ystradgynlais, creating exciting possibilities for Powys.

Ceri Stephens, MWMG’s group manager, thanked everyone involved in organising and staging the awards for their support, especially the businesses. “Considering it was the first time we have ever organised drive-in awards, I was delighted with the event and we were so lucky with the weather. Feedback from people who attended has been very positive which is pleasing to hear.”

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Businesses will soon be able to access funding from the Welsh Government



BUSINESSES in Pembrokeshire which have been impacted by the move to Alert Level 2 Covid-19 measures in Wales will soon be able to register or apply for Welsh Government funding.

The First Minister announced a £120m package of support for nightclubs, events, retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses and their supply chains, impacted by the move to Alert Level 2.

An eligibility checker for businesses has now gone live.

Businesses are urged to check their eligibility at:

The above link also features further information and a series of FAQs about the latest round of support.

The funding will take the form of three elements.

Non Domestic Rates (NDR) linked funding of up to £6,000.

Retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism business who pay Non Domestic Rates will be entitled to a payment of £2,000, £4,000 or £6,000 depending on their rateable value.

Businesses will need to re-register their details with Pembrokeshire County Council through an online process in order to receive their payments.

The Council will also deliver a discretionary fund to support sole traders, freelancers and businesses who don’t pay rates, with funding of £500 – £2000.

The Local Authority discretionary fund will be via a short application process with sole traders, freelancers and taxi drivers able to apply for £500 and businesses that employ people but do not pay business rates will be able to apply for £2,000.

Pembrokeshire County Council plans to open the schemes on Monday 10th January for the NDR related fund and Monday 17th January for the Discretionary fund.

See notes below for further information on the way the NDR linked grant and discretionary fund will be allocated.

The third element of the funding is a reopening of the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF).

On top of NDR based funding, this will see funds of up to £25,000 made available for severely impacted hospitality and leisure businesses – and their supply chains.

As with previous ERF rounds, this will support businesses who have seen a reduction in their turnover of more than 60%.

Details of the application and registration process will be published on the Authority’s Business Advice and Support pages:

The funding package is designed to support businesses impacted by the spread of Omicron through the period 13 December 2021 to 14 February 2022.

Please note that as a result of the new emergency support packages, the Welsh Government is withdrawing its £35m Business Support Fund, announced in November, in order to process emergency payments as soon as possible.

Any expressions of interest received will be notified of this directly.

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£120m financial support for businesses in Wales impacted by Omicron



BUSINESSES in Wales impacted by the rapid spread of the Omicron virus will be eligible for emergency financial support under a new Welsh Government support package.

The Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, has announced the details of the £120m funding which will be available for retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism business and their supply chains affected by the move to alert level two, as announced by the First Minister on Wednesday 22 December.

Under the latest package, retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism business who pay Non Domestic Rates will be entitled to a payment of £2,000, £4,000 or £6,000 depending on their rateable value. Businesses will need to re-register their details, through a quick and easy online process, with Pembrokeshire County Council in order to receive their payments.

Registration will open via local authority website from the week commencing January 10, 2022

The Welsh Government has decided to extend this support to non-essential retail so that smaller shops, and Travel Agents will be supported and our high streets can continue to thrive. In England, support is not available to non-essential retail.

In addition, impacted hospitality and leisure businesses and their supply chains will be able to apply for top up funding from a new Economic Resilience Fund (ERF). Eligible businesses can apply for grants of between £2,500k – £25,000, with grants dependent on their size and number of employees. The application window for ERF will open in week commencing 17th January 2022 with payments starting to reach businesses within days.

Local Authorities will also administer a Discretionary fund for business and sole traders who do not pay rates. The fund will provide £500 to sole trader and freelancers and £2,000 to employing businesses in impacted sectors.  Further details to follow on

An eligibility checker which will help businesses to gauge how much they can expect to receive under the new support package will be available on the Business Wales website by the start of 2022.

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said: “We fully understand the continued challenges faced by businesses, however we are facing a very serious situation in Wales. A wave of infections caused by the new, fast-moving and very-infectious omicron variant is headed our way, this means taking early action to try and control its spread – and limit the impact on Welsh businesses.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve provided over £2.2bn of support to businesses throughout Wales to help them manage their way through difficult circumstances.

“We will continue to monitor the impact of the spread of Omicron on businesses in Wales, and will consider whether additional emergency funding is needed in the new year.”

Business.Wales will be updated with details, frequently asked question and support guidance.

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Seeking advisors from Ceredigion Businesses – Your chance to get involved with the Mid Wales Growth Deal



Growing Mid Wales logo

ARE you a strategic business leader in Ceredigion and are you passionate and committed to the interests of Mid Wales? If so, you are the business leader we are looking for!

The Growing Mid Wales Board is setting up an independent body, the Economic Advisory Group, to help advise on the Mid Wales Growth Deal Portfolio of programmes and projects – to ensure it delivers tangible outcomes for our economy.

The new advisory group will provide business sector experience and knowledge to help assess the various proposals as they move through to the next stages of development.

We’re looking for Industry Leaders from all sectors who are able to demonstrate strategic thinking and have significant direct business leadership experience to help advise the direction of the strategic Portfolio.

For a conversation about the opportunity, email Paul Griffiths, Growth Deal Adviser:

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