Posted: Sun 20th Sep 2020

Fast Track business support programme launches in North East Wales to help combat the furlough fallout

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Sep 20th, 2020

A free, online support programme aimed specifically at helping individuals facing redundancy following the COVID19 pandemic is set to launch in Wrexham.

Startup Club: Fast Track, will give those thinking of starting their own business, or temporarily working as freelancers, all the resources they need to set up and begin trading, including expert-led workshops and support.

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention scheme, which has provided financial support for companies to furlough staff, ends on October 31. By law, companies that wish to make more than 100 of their staff redundant must start a consultation 45 days prior to the scheme’s end – meaning those plans will have now begun. For 20 to 100, it’s 30 days.

With a recession and the number of local lockdowns rising, the working economy is still turbulent and it is expected that there will be mass redundancies across the nation. Citizens advice are currently reporting that they are already supporting one person with a redundancy issue every two minutes.

Carl Turner, Community Manager of the Business Wales Wrexham Enterprise Hub, which will run the online scheme said: “Since lockdown, our operators Town Sq have run over 100 online events that have reached an international audience and provided support & resources to help businesses through the challenges presented by COVID 19.

“As the situation continues and furlough schemes begin to wind down, many companies are now faced with a whole new set of challenges, which could leave staff members or entire companies facing uncertain futures.

“Many of these people will have skills and experience that will enable them to start working for themselves right away, but what they may not have is the business experience to go with it. They may know how to write content or balance a company’s books, but they might not know how to form a business plan, or how to market themselves.

“We wanted to provide a programme for those who already have a clear idea of what they want to do, but simply need the support to fill in the experience gaps. Whether that be how to set up as a freelancer, right through to formulating a marketing strategy.

“It’s not always about creating a business empire and employing 30 staff; or even aiming to be self-employed forever, as for many, working freelance will be a legitimate way to earn and continue their experience while they look for future opportunities – and that’s totally fine. It’s far better to be working, growing your network and taking control of your income than waiting for things to happen.

“We’d encourage anyone considering looking into freelancing or setting up their own business to get in touch and see how our Fast Track scheme can help them.”

The Startup Club: Fast Track programme will run online from the 22nd of September to the 2nd of October. To sign up you can email carlturner@businesswales.org.uk or go to wales.business-events.org.uk/en/events/startup-club-fasttrack.

The Wrexham Enterprise Hub is one of five hubs across Wales funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and will see over £4m invested to provide supportive spaces and mentoring for new and growing businesses.



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