Two new business start-ups have launched in Torfaen after receiving support via Welsh Government and European Social Funded Communities for Work programme.
Blaenavon resident Amy Dando has been able to realise her dream of launching her own nail salon, Amy Dando Nails, which is based in Fadez and Braidz hairdressers on Broad Street, Blaenavon.
Amy is an experienced nail technician and is offering a variety of treatments including manicure, pedicure, and lash extensions.
Through the support Amy received from the CFW programme, she was able to access funding for new equipment, which included a new desk, beauty couch, chairs and marketing materials.
In addition, Tara Smith from Trevethin has started her business venture by opening ‘Tara's Treasured Treats’, a homemade cake making business.
Tara has a wide variety of cakes to choose from including brownies, cupcakes, trifles, and cheesecakes. Tara’s Treasured Treats will also offer gluten free options and is in the process of offering low calorie alternatives for those on weight loss programmes.
Tara was able to access online courses which enabled her to complete a Food Hygiene Level 3 and Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses course, and in addition received funding for essential items.
Tara said: 'My Communities for Work mentor, Trina, has been a brilliant in helping me from day one and I don't think I would have got this far without her.
I've always been nervous speaking with new people, especially when we aren't able to meet face to face. Communities for Work has been very supportive and made me feel at ease, they have also helped me secure the tools I need to make working from home a possibility.'
Executive Member for Children, Families & Communities, Councillor Fiona Cross said: ‘It is fantastic to see another two businesses start up in the North of Torfaen. Small businesses have an important role to play in the economic development of our area.
With the right support and guidance, there are still opportunities to develop a business idea and realise your dreams during these difficult times.
The support that the Communities for Work programme has provided has been vital in starting these businesses, as is evident from the comments. I am so proud of how effective the Communities for Work and Plus programmes have been through these challenging times.’
Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic 196 people have been supported through the Communities for Work programme, with more than 70 securing employment.
To talk to someone about starting a business in Torfaen, call Torfaen’s Communities For Work team on 01495 742 131 or drop them a direct message via their Facebook page.