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
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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!
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Date of next meeting
To be confirmed.