Welsh Business Community Rallies to Support Firms Affected by the Floods

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Businesses rallied around to help each other in the wake of the devastating floods across South Wales recently.

As communities tried to pick up the pieces following the torrential rain that accompanied Storms Ciara and Dennis, many businesses found themselves without accommodation or other facilities.

But help was at hand in the shape of offers of space, transport and other services from generous business providers around the region.

Employees of businesses and business support organisations also provided help to individuals and communities affected by the flooding.

Business in Focus said it had been able to offer free shared storage at its Dowlais and Brynmenyn sites, and could also provide temporary office space at Abercynon, Aberdare, Dowlais and Pentrebach.

Business in Focus staff had also donated large number of items to the collection point at Treforrest Community Centre, including a microwave and toaster, four duvets and other bedding, kettles, irons, towels, food, cleaning supplies and warm men’s coats, among other things.

Katy Chamberlain, chief executive of Business in Focus, said:

“Our thoughts are with all people affected by the terrible flooding. Business in Focus staff are extremely keen to provide as much support as possible to help businesses cope with these tough conditions, and we are pleased to be able to offer free storage and office space to businesses in affected areas while they get back on their feet.”

In Caerphilly, coworking space provider Welsh ICE offered free office and coworking space to businesses rained out by Storm Dennis, which dumped 157mm of rain across the county.

Campus director Jamie McGowan said:

“We’ve got a few vacant offices in our Lodge building at the moment that are all furnished and have internet access, so it only made sense to offer them to local businesses who were looking for somewhere to base themselves while they figure out the next steps.”

At The Maltings in central Cardiff, co-working space provider Space2B also offered free co-working space to any businesses affected by the flooding. The company said that, with more bad weather forecast, the offer remained open.

Gareth Oram, Operations Manager at Space2B at the Maltings, said:

“Witnessing the devastating effects of the recent floods on families and businesses in Wales was very sad indeed. Our location was lucky enough not to be hit hard by the heavy rainfall, but there were many throughout the South Wales business community that took heavy damage and losses.

“Space2B at The Maltings is all about community spirit, where we support businesses and do our best to contribute to the wider business ecosystem in Wales. With so many businesses, big and small, affected by the flood waters, opening our doors was the least we could do.

“Through our social media channels, we opened up our co-working space to any professionals who had lost their place of work, inviting them to come and work at our professional facilities free of charge until they were back on their feet.

“It was heart-warming to see that other business hubs had done the same and although we hope that all those affected are on their way back to business as usual, our offer still stands while heavy rain continues to hit Wales.”

Bus and coach operator NAT Group, which has a depot in Pontypridd, discounted its local weekly and monthly tickets by 20% to help people get around during the clean-up process.

NAT also set up a Just Giving page to raise money for the Rhondda Cynon Taf town with all proceeds going directly to support the clean-up effort. The company, which is rebranding to Adventure Travel, also set up an eBay site selling memorabilia with all funds donated to the flood cause.

Tommy Buckley, owner of Warrington-based photocopier installer AIS Logistics, said;

“The company had been working with businesses in South Wales, either collecting machines and storing them in safety, or moving machines to higher levels and bringing them back down again when the waters had subsided.

“Tommy, who describes himself on the company’s website as Saviour of the Copier World, said: “We’re only a small family company, [but] if we can help we will. It was just nice to be able to help people just doing what we do.”

Car showrooms and garages were badly affected by floodwater, with vehicle salvage company Synetiq reporting that it had recovered around 1,000 vehicles in the Pontypridd area in the days following Storm Dennis. The company said it had made more than 100 transporter journeys using its fleet of car transporters, and moved more than 100 tonnes of river silt and debris from forecourts.