April 2021 Minutes

Tuesday 13th April 2021 –  6:30pm held via Zoom – Minutes

  1. In attendance

Ruth Rees (Chair), Martin Rees Jewellers
Pete Humphreys, Yellow and Blue and No 22
Matt McHale, La Baguette
Chris Dimmick, Dimmick’s Accountancy
Julia Chaplin, Ellis Chaplin
Jacqui Blore, Piccolos Music & The Story-Teller
Bobbi Cockcroft, The Drawing Board
Adam Howarth, Love Wrexham
Stefan Paudler, Love Wrexham
Mark Norfolk, 4th Planet Games
Geth Thomas, Wrexham Chauffeurs
Kelly Elsworth, Deputy Dot
Terry Evans, Councillor
Nathan Roberts, Wrexham Tech
Katie Williams, Xplore!
Eleni Morandi, Minuteman Press
Sam Harris, Wrexham Feast

  1. Apologies
    Ian Stockdale, Ian Stockdale Architects
    Marc Jones, Councillor for Grosvenor Ward and Board Member of Saith Seren
    Sharron Tyldesley-Smith, Alisha Bridal & Prom Dresses
    Brian Lane – Getin2Shape Training
  2. Welcome
    Ruth Rees welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave a quick update. Good news that Giles the butcher back behind the counter, and successfully appealed a parking ticket by sending in invoice to prove loading/delivering. Town wardens – both Bev and Adam are back on the job, Ceredig has retired. Need to ensure that we report any incidents. The online reporting is very straightforward and less time consuming than waiting on the phone see https://www.northwales.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime
  3. Town Centre
    Terry Evans gave a quick update, a new tree has been planted in Queens Square, the benches that surround it are being refurbished. Other improvements include new trees on Henblas square, additional planting on Queens Street and extra seating by Boots Opticians. A ‘green wall’ is planned for the Tŷ Pawb – on the Chester Street/Saith Seren side. Discussions are ongoing regarding the free parking after eleven extension for 6 months.
  4. Xplore! Science Discovery Centre
    Katie Williams reported that Xplore! don’t have a reopening date at the moment as it’s unclear which category they are in, hoping for w/c 17 May and are awaiting guidance. They have had staff in throughout lockdown and done some work via foodbank and community groups, plus digital provision for those with access.DARGANFOD/DISCOVER – Tŷ Pawb and Xplore! have teamed up to bring a weekend of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths to Wrexham. The festival last took place in 2018. The festival will run over the weekend of the 21st and 22nd August 2021 and there are backup plans in place to have a digital festival if Covid restrictions are in place. Xplore! is looking for people to get involved, so anyone with ideas can get in touch. There is a package of sponsorship available too. Xplore! can turn ideas into workshops. Email info@darganfod-discover.com if you would like further details.
  5. Nathan Roberts – Wrexham Tech
    Nathan runs a web design, online marketing and SEO company, has clients across various industries including services, trades, nurseries, ecommerce and B2B. He’s been very busy with website builds and is keen to help local business with help and advice. With lockdown there has been a realisation that more businesses need online entity. The group asked Nathan about a number of things, eg, Ruth asked about Facebook pages versus groups. Pages are more for businesses to post and Facebook wants businesses to pay to be seen. There is more engagement in groups and organic reach, but people have to join the group. Most businesses use their Page to publicise the group.Pete talked about how we can help each other’s Facebook presence, he’s got a few tricks and aims for 5 comments & 3 replies on his posts. He turns notifications on for pages he follows and always makes an effort to comment or like, love etc

    Chris asked what he should do to score well when it comes to Facebook’s algorithms  – comments are key. Nathan suggested trying to get engagement on posts first, before adverts. Facebook measure all sorts of things including length of comments. Don’t just share posts from other pages, add your own text to the post too. Nathan used Fat Boar as an example, their engagement is so good that they don’t need to pay for ads.

    Geth suggesting that before posting think about what question your audience wants answering – relevance is the secret ingredient to engagement.

    Julia asked about which platform to use. Nathan said to post across all social media and don’t forget Google My Business – again google doesn’t want us to know their algorithms so they constantly change. As Ruth pointed out this is a good thing in many ways as it prevents bots etc taking advantage and allows legitimate businesses to compete. Nathan pointed out that buying existing (aged) domains is now seen as an advantage.

    Julia to share screenshot of meeting and list attendees’ Facebook pages, please make an effort to like other members pages and engage with their posts. Action JC/ALL

  6. AOB
    Time of meetings – stay as they are and Ruth will attend when she can.Chris asked about Plastic free Wrexham. Julia to send contact details to Chris and email Iona to see if there are any new initiatives or info available. Action JC

    Julia asked Sam how plans are going for Wrexham Feast – waiting for news about the event and will let everyone know asap. Not taking any money for bookings until things are confirmed.

    Congratulations to Jacqui Blore who is now a qualified youth mental health first aider. Chris asked how courses are funded. Jacqui attended due to work with The Vic.

  7. Next Meeting – 2nd Tuesday of the Month
    May 11th 6:30pm via Zoom

 

Jan 2021 Minutes

Minutes January 2021

Tuesday 5th January 2021

6:30pm held via Zoom

Minutes

 

  1. In attendance

Ruth Rees (Chair), Martin Rees Jewellers

Ian Stockdale (Director), Ian Stockdale Architects

Pete Humphreys (Director), Yellow and Blue and No 22

Chris Dimmick, (WBG CIC Accountant), Dimmick’s Accountancy

Julia Chaplin, Ellis Chaplin

Jacqui Blore, Piccolos Music and The Story-Teller

Pete Rogers, Town Square

Bobbi Cockcroft, The Drawing Board

Nigel Lewis, Wrexham Savers

Sam Harris, What A Sweet Shop and Wrexham Feast

Marc Jones, Councillor for Grosvenor Ward and Board Member of Saith Seren

Adam Howarth, Love Wrexham

Stefan Paudler, Love Wrexham

Jenny Osborne – Cozmic Driving Academy, Body Shop at Home

Brian Lane – Getin2Shape Training

Rob Salisbury, Salisbury Media (part)

 

  1. Apologies

Mark Norfolk, 4th Planet Games

Matt McHale (Director), La Baguette

Daphne Roberts, Abode Above

 

  1. Welcome and Introductions

Ruth Rees welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the year. 

The members of the group introduced themselves, including new members Jenny Osborne of Cosmic Driving Academy and Body Shop at Home, and Brian Lane of Getin2Shape Training. 

 

  1. Thanks

On behalf of the CIC Ruth expressed gratitude to Chris Dimmick of Dimmick’s Accountancy for volunteering to do the accounts for the group.

 

  1. Objectives

At the previous meeting four main objectives were agreed. The group discussed how we can work towards achieving the first two, ie Speaking as One Voice (eg to WCBC) and Supporting each other’s businesses.

 

  1. Speaking as One Voice

Marc Jones, Councillor for Grosvenor Ward agreed with the importance of being a united front and representing the views of the business group as a whole with the Local Authority. Contacts at WCBC are Amanda Davies and Rachel Cupit and Cllr Terry Evans, Lead Member for Economic Development and Regeneration. Marc stated that the councillors or the Town Centre have an informal cross-party group due to the absence of a Town Council, to ensure they are doing the best for the town centre.

 

If any members have any topics they would like to raise with the local authority please do let the Chair or one of the Directors know. Julia Chaplin asked about inviting our local MP’s and MS to meetings. Should we have relevant issues that we need their assistance with they will be invited to attend.

 

  1. Supporting each other’s businesses

Ian Stockdale emphasised the wealth of knowledge we have and how we can support each other. Sam Harris mentioned this is especially true in relation to local knowledge which is so valuable to businesses across all sectors and Jacqui Blore reiterated that we have a unique perspective. Sharing this knowledge is key to working together to improve our businesses and Wrexham, next month we will look at other objectives of the group, ie to Provide networking opportunities and Share expertise.

 

Julia has created a Google form to start collecting member details for publication on the website. Although we do have information for members which they provide when joining the group, this is specifically for publishing online. A link to the form will be sent out in the next week or so.

 

  1. AOB

Sam reported that she has had difficulty getting town centre businesses involved with events that she is organising. Ruth will get in touch to see if she can help. Pete asked about the type of businesses, Sam said it is across the board, equipment hire, food producers etc. Wrexham Feast will take place in September and there is another event planned for May which will be announced soon.

 

The group discussed the Facebook group at length, including options of allowing posts from a specific business sector each week, the value of different types of posts and ensuring that there is a focus on the members of the group. We may allow posts from members to publicise their businesses, but would prefer posts that are not purely about sales. Brian mentioned the feel-good type posts, such as those from Pete Humphreys who has been feeding people who are temporarily housed or in need of support. Jenny talked about utilising other Facebook groups as she is a member of a page for driving schools which would be useful for targeting a certain demographic.

 

  1. Date of next meeting

Tuesday 2nd February 2021

Annual General Meeting

  1. Present

Ruth Rees – Chair, Martin Rees Jewellers

Daphne Roberts – Director, Abode Above

Wayne Price – Director, AMP Accountants

Matt McHale – Director, La Baguette

Adam Howarth, Love Wrexham Magazine

Ian Stockdale, Ian Stockdale Architects

Stefan Paudler, Love Wrexham Magazine

Peter Humphreys, No 22, Yellow and Blue

Julia Chaplin, Ellis Chaplin

Gwyn Ingman, Try Thai

Jacqui Blore, Piccolos

Nigel Lewis, Wrexham Savers

  1. Welcome

Ruth Rees welcomed members to the meeting and thanked them for attending. Ruth gave a quick recap of the previous year. One of the key goals has been building relationships and connections that will enhance our businesses and enable the group to achieve more together than we can individually – some good successes achieved on that.

  1. Accounts

Wayne Price presented the Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Account to the group, detailing the income and expenditure. The accounts were agreed by all those present.

  1. Membership Subscriptions

The existing fees are £5 per annum for businesses with 1-2 employees and £25 per annum for 3+ employees. New businesses are exempt in their first year. Options to maintain, increase, decrease or suspend fees were discussed and it was decided to keep fees the same for the coming year.

  1. Directors

Wayne and Daphne have decided to step down as directors due to other commitments Ruth thanked them both for their hard work and gave special mention to Wayne for doing not only the accounts but many other tasks over last two years.

Two members have been nominated to be directors, Ian Stockdale and Peter Humphreys.

Ian Stockdale introduced himself, hailing from Cumbria Ian has lived in Wrexham since 1980, had his own architect practice since 1984 and worked on many developments in the county including the replacements for the Hightown Flats and Crosville Depot. Ian is also an ardent Wrexham FC supporter. Wayne proposed and Jacqui seconded.

Peter Humphreys – runs family business No 22 at Tŷ Pawb and not for profit organisation Yellow and Blue. Peter is big advocate for shopping locally and supporting people. Adam Proposed and Julia seconded

All attendees supported the appointment of the two new directors and for Ruth Rees and Matt McHale to continue as directors of Wrexham Business Group CIC.

  1. Website

The web site has been renewed for the year thanks to Josh Green at JDG Creative giving a near cost price quote to help the group at this difficult time. We hope to add members’ details to the site soon, to make it easier to support each other, and it currently hosts the page about the new Accessible Wrexham project, which will shortly be getting off the ground again, after a delay due to Covid-19 issues keeping those involved fully committed elsewhere! 

  1. Assets of the CIC

TWIG are better placed to use the “building art” supplies and pressure washer, so will keep them on a long term loan, they already store these items for us. We also have gazebos, mini sound system and bits of cleaning equipment. It is possible that AVOW could use them in conjunction with the Make A Difference scheme. Wayne commented that we can give away assets but only to organisation stated in our documentation (currently AVOW).

  1. TWIG – The Wrexham Independent Gallery

It looked like TWIG was closing back in March due to funding issues. Keith Evans, Bobbi Cockcroft, Jacqui and Wayne worked out how to keep it going for at least the next 12 months, and this will give them time to plan a way forward supporting the community as well as the arts. Jacqui commented that TWIG’s strapline is “Bringing art to the community” and they are delighted to have Wayne saving TWIG.

  1. Any other business

Gwyn asked how members are getting on with re-opening – being a food outlet Try Thai didn’t close at all. Ruth has now re-opened Martin Rees Jewellers albeit limited hours and is gradually introducing more services. It has been particularly challenging and there are many things to put in place and comply with. Ruth’s customers have been brilliant. Gwyn would like to encourage more people to wear masks, especially in the shop.  No 22 has been doing community meals throughout the period, Tŷ Pawb is now open but not the same as it was, there are many restrictions and it is very quiet. The group discussed masks, with a desire from some for the Government to issue guidance regarding wearing masks. Jacqui commented about the poor social distancing in some places and she chooses to wear a mask. Top tip from Ruth about shaving foam to stop glasses steam up.

Ian spoke about working from home, how Covid is going to affect us for a few years not just months. He made good use of Facebook during lockdown to build up useful contacts for new projects. As an architect he is thinking that office space will be incorporated in houses more than ever before. Ian gave an example of a company in London employing 7,000 people that is encouraging 20% of staff to work from home, 1,000 more are to be laid off, and therefore there is a drastic reduction of office space.

Daphne hasn’t reopened Abode Above shop yet. Paint sales have increased dramatically and Daphne has made full use of social media to spread the word, gaining circa 500 new customers, working from home.

Wayne commented that visitors are going into town, but they have a mission and are not browsing the shops they hadn’t planned on going to. He stated that we should be looking at getting other types of businesses into town, such as health centres, and we should be lobbying for change.

Wrexham has great potential and many businesses are coming out of this stronger than ever, though we regret the loss of some who are not so lucky.

Ruth thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting.

  1. Date of next meeting

To be confirmed.

Minutes November 2019

Minutes November 2019

Thank you to everyone who attended November’s meeting, please click the link above to view the minutes.

Please contact Julia if you have any amendments to propose, wrexhambusinessgroup@gmail.com