Newport businessman scathing over ‘lack of help’

South Wales Argus: FUNDING NEEDED: Bob Derraven, who runs Zone Promotions in Newport, believes Newport City Council and the Welsh Goverrment are portraying the wrong image about business in Newport FUNDING NEEDED: Bob Derraven, who runs Zone Promotions in Newport, believes Newport City Council and the Welsh Goverrment are portraying the wrong image about business in Newport

A NEWPORT based businessman has criticised Newport council and the Welsh government saying they are not helping new business in the city.

Rob Derraven, 54, director of Zone Promotions UK Ltd, based on the High Street, is a company which aims to improve the communication skills of young and disadvantaged people.

The business was set up in August of last year and Mr Derraven said he has now used up all his savings to keep the business going.

He said: “I’m coming up against obstacles every single day. I have sought advice from the council and Business Wales but they have been unhelpful – if there are opportunities it’s hard to find them.

“Business Wales very rarely got back to you and were very dismissive. Newport council and the Welsh government say the are helping, they have been publicly quoted as saying this, but obviously not in my case and I am sure it’s the same with others.”

Mr Derraven, of Risca, is the company’s sole employee and has applied for funding but has been unsuccessful so far. He has applied for the Jobs Growth Wales programme in which they fund an employee for six months but he was unable to fund the initial two months salary needed.

He said: “Newport looked brighter and brighter and I could see the potential in the next 18 months with the regeneration. It all seems very good when it comes to helping bigger business, with helping new business start up I don’t feel they are doing what they are saying. I can still see the potential in Newport but the council needs to help people now not in 18 months time.” A council spokeswoman, said: “Newport City Council has been in dialogue with the owner of the business previously and has provided him with advice.

“The council has also suggested that he speaks to Business Wales. The council is also exploring the possibility of other support.”

The Welsh government say they offer a range of business advice for small and medium sized businesses, as well as start-ups.

A spokeswoman said: “The Business Wales ‘one stop shop’ service offers one-to-one advice tailored to the needs of individual businesses. In its first year (to January 2014) it helped create and safeguard more than 2,200 jobs and provided direct advice to 5,360 SMEs, and information and signposting to over 15,000 other businesses.”

For more information visit www.business.wales.gov.uk or call the Business Wales helpline on 03000 60 3000.

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