Over 320 businesses throughout Swansea are benefiting from a funding boost of more than £2.7m to improve their look and feel.
The investment is part of Swansea Council’s economic recovery fund, which was set up to help businesses, communities and residents recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.
As part of the business improvement grant scheme, which is now closed for applications, businesses were invited to apply for up to £10,000 to enhance the appearance of their properties.
Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Investment and Tourism, said: “We very much recognise the impact of the pandemic on our business community, which is why the council continues to be determined to do all we can to help.
“This grant scheme is among a number of ways we’re supporting our businesses with their economic recovery, so it’s very pleasing to see the number of businesses now benefiting from completed improvement works.”
Among the businesses to have benefited from a grant is Flowers by Arrangement on Llangyfelach Road in Treboeth, which is one of very few florists in Wales to be part of the Good Florist Guide.
Paul Jackson, who joint owns the business with Donna Stevens, said: “The grant mostly covered decorative works outside and new canopies. It’s made a massive difference to the outside of the property and we’ve had some great feedback from local people – some of whom have been customers for 30 years.
“The improvement works have made the shop stand out a lot more. If a shop looks good on the outside, then people are more inclined to come in.
“We also used local companies to carry out the improvement works – a painting business in Brynhyfryd and the canopies from a company in Sketty. It’s important to keep spending in the local Swansea economy wherever possible.”
Jack’s Kitchen on the corner of College Street and High Street in the city centre is another business to have benefited.
Owner and director Yasin Demir said: “The front of the business used to look bad – not just damaged wood and panelling but the impact of traffic in the area was affecting the white colouring.
“With support from the council grant though, the improvement works have made a big difference. The business now looks far more inviting, and our takings have doubled over the last 12 months or so.
“Since the upgrade, the business is also more eye-catching, so we’ve had an increase in takeaway trade from city centre office workers and people heading up and down High Street to and from the railway station.
“We also used local companies in Swansea to carry out the improvement works to make sure other local businesses were able to benefit as well.”
Although the business improvement grant scheme has now closed for applications, plenty of new funding opportunities are now available for Swansea businesses.