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Business Grants Are Back!
Small Business Grants are back on Anglesey! Join us for the Môn CF Showcase & Grants Launch Event! The Môn CF Showcase lets local business owners discover all the support that's available from Môn CF! The Showcase event will launch the next round of Small Business Grants! The grants have helped hundreds of small businesses on Anglesey grow and scale up! If you're a small business owner, a self-employed sole trader, or have a business idea you want to explore, this event is for you! About the event This event is a fantastic opportunity for small businesses to discover the variety of support available on Anglesey! We've tailored the whole event to suit the needs of you and your businesses. Our teams will be on hand to provide advice and support in all aspects of business, including: Grants & Funding  - Supporting the development and growth of local businesses. Paid Work Placements  - Helping businesses tap into talent and develop the job market on Anglesey. Employment Support  - To provide in-work support to businesses and employees on Anglesey. Free Recruitment Services  - To help businesses find the right people & fill roles fast. Web Design & Marketing  – Help with branding your business and getting you online. Training  - To help the people and businesses of Anglesey be the best that they can be.   We'll also have other agencies in attendance who provide support for businesses.   We'll have teams from The Isle of Anglesey County Council , Business Wales , The Development Bank of Wales , The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) , and Menter Môn  in attendance, with more to announce soon! Why should I attend? Over 300 businesses attended our last event, and as a result, got the support they needed to grow! We want to help even more businesses on Anglesey through practical support and grants. That's why our next event is being held at the Bulkeley Hotel in Beaumaris. And we're giving everyone who attends early access to grant applications! "Everyone who attends the event will get EARLY ACCESS to the grant applications!" When and Where is the event? The Môn CF Showcase & Grants Launch: 11th April 3pm - 8pm Bulkeley Hotel, 19 Castle Street, Beaumaris, LL58 8AW How do I sign up? Registering for the Môn CF Showcase and Grants event couldn't be easier. We understand running a business means your days can be busy. This is why we're giving attendees the ability to book a time that suits them. Follow the link below, choose a time that suits you and book your ticket. Admission to the event is completely FREE , and registration only takes a few minutes.

11 Mar 2024

Annual General Meeting - Môn CF

3 Nov 2023

Business Support Success Story - Jonathan Retallick, Artist and Carpenter
Jonathan Retallick is an Artist, based in Menai Bridge, who creates unique artworks that have earned him worldwide renown in art circles. Jonathan also works as a carpenter and creates bespoke projects for businesses and customers across the region. Entrepreneurship applies itself in many industries, and the art world is no different.   Having a keen business mindset can help an artist thrive in an industry as competitive as art. We went to visit Jonathan who recently received a Small Business Grant with help from Môn CF, to ask about how the grant has helped him grow his business, and to hear about what’s next on the horizon.   Q1. Hi Jonathan, to start us off, could you tell us a little about yourself, and the business you’ve set up?    Of course, I'm Jonathan, I'm a self-employed artist and carpenter. I specialise in oil painting on canvas and use my carpentry skills to build a lot of my materials.  As an intrinsically creative person, I’ve always liked the idea of working for myself. Having always leaned towards the idea of self-employment for most of my life.     Pursuing my creative ideas has always been one of my ambitions and in 2015 I decided to pursue my ambitions full-time.   Art has always meant a lot to me, as a method of communication, and a commentary on existence. After a few years of building a substantial portfolio, I went to study art at university.   "I've leaned towards the idea of self-employment for most of my life."   This was a tough decision having often been discouraged by people’s belief that art lacked job opportunities, but I had to be true to myself.      Going to university was the best life decision I’d made to that point, my timing was perfect and I thrived.   I graduated in 2020 into a very different world. Job security was no longer guaranteed, and the world shifted into the unknown.     Finding my feet as an artist I worked in factories to pay bills until my self-employed work picked up momentum.     I now work on my art full-time and have partnered with local galleries that showcase my work exclusively.    I’ve also built a worldwide network of collectors who commission my work.   Q2. What kind of support have you received so far from Môn CF?    I’d been pointed to Môn CF by a few friends who’d had help setting up their businesses and thought I’d give it a shot.     I originally came to Môn CF looking for employment support after redundancies were announced at the factory where I worked.   They encouraged me to think of everything I could do to earn money as a whole package and it was looking like self-employment was going to be the best option for me.     Being self-employed scared me a lot at first, but I gradually picked up so much work that I often had to turn it down.     The coaches at Môn CF helped me see that what I had was working well and encouraged me to nurture it, and it’d grown into a thriving business.     It’s been about 9 months since I reached out to Môn CF, and they’ve since helped me apply for a small business grant.     I applied and was granted various woodworking tools that I wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise. The tools have already been used extensively to take on a wider variety of work.   Môn CF's support has enabled me to do more self-employed woodwork alongside my art and has facilitated a flexible working schedule that has worked very well for me in the last few months. Q3. What was it like to work with Môn CF, how did you find the grant application process?  The application process couldn’t have been easier. Very straightforward and the grants team supported me through it.   Having been unsuccessful with grant applications in the past, Môn CF made sure their process was simple by comparison.   "My ambition is to continue to create artwork that excites me enough to want to share it with others. It’s been nearly 9 years since I dedicated myself to art and my love for it has only grown." "Môn CF's support has enabled me to do more self-employed woodwork alongside my art" Q4. So, what’s next for your business, what are your ambitions for the next few years?    I have two large exhibitions coming up, one at Ffin y Parc starting on the 24th of May until the 15th of June, and another at MoMA Cymru, from the 14th of September to the 16th of November.     I have also been shortlisted for the Kyffin Williams Drawing Prize 2024 and had work on display at the Royal Cambrian Academy.     Although I plan to keep exhibiting in Wales for the long term, encouraged by the increased international attention, I have started to plan exhibitions that reach a wider audience.     For now, I have my head down focussing on creating evermore sophisticated works.   I strive to create work that inspires emotional and contemplative responses that grow with viewers over time. My ambition is to continue to create artwork that excites me enough to want to share it with others. It's been nearly 9 years since I dedicated myself to art and my love for it has only grown. Q5. And lastly, If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to go self-employed or start a new business, what would it be?    "Do what you love and hold on to it for dear life!"   It’s rarely a smooth road to success in self-employment, and you might need to get part-time work to support your passion. But if you keep chipping away and persevere, you will undoubtedly succeed!     Q6. How can people find out more about you and your work?    The best way to see my work would be to look me up on social media, my Instagram is @jonathan_retallick and you can find me on Facebook by searching JonathanRetallickArt.     You can also see my website  www.jonathanretallick.art  which showcases my work.

22 Feb 2024

Business Support Success Story - Florees, Holyhead
Every new business we support is as unique as the person who creates it. Our team continues to support businesses and business owners across Anglesey. We caught up with some of those owners to hear about their experiences running a business. We asked how the support from Môn CF has helped them achieve their business goals. It also gives us a chance to get a look behind the scenes to hear what’s next for their business. A unique business that’s recently reached out to Môn CF for support is Florees. We spent an afternoon with Stacey Rees. Having recently opened a flower preservation business in Holyhead, here’s what she had to say! Q1. Hi Stacey, could you tell us a little about yourself and your business? Yes. I’m Stacey, I own a business called Florees. I make jewellery and artwork using real flowers that I preserve right here in my shop. Everything you see here is handmade by me. I source most of my flowers from local florists and work with local small businesses to frame some of the art you see on my walls. No two flowers are the same, so every piece I make is a one-of-a-kind item, something I love. Florees products include bespoke jewellery, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and rings. I craft handmade gifts, framed artworks, and prints. I also offer a flower preservation service. And specialise in the preservation of wedding bouquets, which I turn into framed art. I use my own process of drying and preserving the flowers. The technique I use makes the petals hold their colour and stay vibrant once they’re cast in the resin. It helps draw people to my work! I use high-quality materials for all my jewellery, like sterling silver. It was important that my products be suitable for sensitive skin. Like a lot of new businesses, Florees started as a lockdown hobby. I started working with flowers and resin. Drying petals and bouquets, and once I got going, things grew from there. Before I knew it I was running a business and working a full-time job, and trying to juggle three kids! Things got busy! I was making everything out of a set-up I had in our garage and selling my pieces on Etsy. But I outgrew that space and realised I needed something bigger. That’s when I started to realise I had the chance to make something of the business, that this could actually work as a career! Q2. How did you initially approach Môn CF – was it always for Business Support, or did you come to us for a different reason initially? I’d heard of the work Môn CF do, and I saw their announcements about the grants that were available at the time. I reached out to see if I could get any help with some items I needed, like a printer, and some other business essentials. They put me through the application process, and I was lucky to receive some funding to help me get started. I used the funding to upgrade some equipment, but by this point, I’d already started outgrowing the garage. I knew Môn CF had helped a few other local business owners find premises. I reached out to them again to see if they could help, hoping they had somewhere I could rent as a studio. As soon as I could make the enquiry, Alun put his coat on and was showing me around the available properties. He took me around the shops and showed me what was available. I told him I’d had my eye on the shop I’m in now. And even though it’s not a Môn CF property, he knew the owner and got the ball rolling to help me get set up here. It was a massive help. As soon as I saw the inside I knew straight away this is where I wanted to set up my studio, it’s really nice here. It’s proven to be a great location. With good footfall and the support from the community has been incredible. It’s so nice to feel so welcome and see people when they come in. Q3. Could you tell us a little more about how your business grew thanks to the support you received? As I mentioned before, the business was set up in my garage, and as it kept growing, I was running out of space. I was taking over the house with all my stuff. We had flowers everywhere! Môn CF pointed me in the right direction when I was looking for a studio, which has helped my business provide a welcoming place for customers to visit. I can trade from here, and I can use the space as my workshop where I make all my products. Getting the space has had the added benefit of improving my work-life balance. Something that’s important to me. I have three young children and I want our house to feel like home, not like work. It was easy to get distracted by home life when I was working from the garage, it’s nice to have a place where I can come focus. Môn CF also helped me write my business plan. I didn’t know where to start at first. My mentor was so helpful and created the whole plan with me. She told me about all the marketing I should consider and told me about some courses that were available. There is so much knowledge in Môn CF, it was a great help to be able to access it. If you don’t know where to start, having that kind of support is so useful. Q4. Could you tell us about your plans for the future of your business? Well, a big part of my business comes from my online sales. Expanding what I can do online is going to be a major next step. I’m currently working hard to get stock ready for the Christmas rush. Seems early I know, but I need to be well ahead on these things because I make everything myself. I’m getting a lot of support from my sister. She’s a social media marketer in Ireland, and she’s been a great help in getting my brand out there. Social media is a big part of my business, it’s how I get my brand noticed and it’s how people find out about me. Making content takes a lot of time, so I’ll be doing some more work on that soon too. I also have lots of new products and artwork to release soon. Q5. One more, if you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about starting their own business, what would it be? Yes, my advice would be to definitely make sure you’ve got that support. Research and reach out to organisations that can help as early as you can, it makes a huge difference. Don’t be afraid to lean on them as well, it’s what they’re there for. My husband has been amazing too and has really supported me through the highs and lows. If you’re really passionate about what you want to do, believe in yourself and go for it. Keep pushing and you can get through anything! It won’t come easy, but when it works it’s so rewarding because all the hard work has paid off. Thinking about starting your own business? Get the support you need with Môn CF! If you're thinking of starting your own business, or already have a business, Môn CF's Business Support team is here to help! Able to provide support in all aspects of business, from funding to policy writing, through to a full recruitment service, our team is here for you. Interested in learning more? Get in touch with our Business Support team today!

13 Aug 2023

Business Support Success Story - Ashley Webb Handyman
Part of the Môn CF service is to give those who have an idea for a new business the support and guidance they need to ensure it’s a success. Success can appear at various times throughout life. Having the resilience and determination to start something new can be both exciting and challenging. Ashley Webb first approached Môn CF in 2023 to enquire about the Business Support services we provide. His goal was to access business funding to help his handyman business grow. We recently caught up with Ashley to find out how things are going since he received his grant, and to ask how the support he received from Môn CF has helped him and his business. Here’s what Ashley had to say! Q1. Hi Ashley, to start us off, could you tell us a little about yourself, and the business you’ve set up? Hi, I’m Ashley Webb, I’m a self-employed handyman based in Llannerch-y-medd! I provide handyman services across the island of Anglesey and tackle jobs of all kinds. A lifelong DIY-er and apprentice property developer, I officially became fully self-employed in 2020. Since starting I’ve been able to build a strong reputation on the island as someone willing to tackle various domestic repair and maintenance work. The response since starting has been great. I consistently get good feedback from my customers which is always good! I’ve got over 70 5-star reviews so far! It’s great that I’ve been able to establish myself as a reliable option for those who need assistance with their home improvement projects and my comprehensive range of skills means I can help with all aspects of work. From plumbing to carpentry, to painting and garden maintenance, there’s little I can’t turn my hand to. I’ve worked on major projects like complete property value enhancements, to smaller projects like furniture assembly and shelf hanging. Every job gets my personalised attention which my customers really appreciate! Q2. What kind of support have you received so far from Môn CF? Môn CF has helped me access valuable grant funding which has really helped my business. The grant money enabled me to buy commercial-grade equipment that I use to conduct my work. I used the funds to buy a long-reach hedge trimmer, a chainsaw, and a blower, as well as a new impact torque wrench. I use all these tools daily, and they’ve been invaluable to my business. The grant was instrumental in helping me take my business to the next level. The hedge trimmer, chainsaw, and blower have boosted my capabilities and efficiency significantly, meaning I can take on more jobs and get them done to a higher standard. I can now tackle large landscaping projects with confidence and deliver exceptional service to my clients. The new tools have also opened doors to new, high-value contracts, which have helped increase my income! In the near future, I’m hoping to take on a member of staff who can assist me with the growing workload, creating additional jobs and propelling my business even further forward. I’m incredibly grateful for the support I’ve received, it’s been invaluable and has made a real difference to me and my journey. Q3. What was it like to work with Môn CF, how did you find the grant application process? The entire process was exceptionally smooth and user-friendly. The straightforward nature of the application coupled with the readily available guidance and support from the Môn CF team made it a pleasure to apply for the grant. Q4. So, what’s next for your business, what are your ambitions for the next few years? My sights are firmly set on expanding the business in the next few years. I’m excited to take on more high-value contracts focused on property value enhancement. To manage the growing workload that comes with these projects, I plan to hire an assistant within the next year. This will give me more time to dedicate to securing new work and bigger contracts, and to build strong, lasting relationships with my clients. I’m also dedicated to continuous improvement and will be adding to my skills and knowledge to solidify and enhance my excellent reputation! Q5. If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to go self-employed or start a new business, what would it be? Embrace the balance between striving for excellence and learning from your inevitable losses. Think of your losses as temporary stumbling blocks, each offering valuable lessons on what works and what doesn’t. Use these experiences to hone your skills and optimise your processes. It’ll ultimately help you deliver exceptional quality that commands its own price. This means focusing on building loyal customers who appreciate your attention to detail and your commitment to quality service. Remember, cutting corners and making a cheap price a priority might lead to quick wins, but it’s a race to the bottom. Invest your time, effort, and resources in your customers, especially when they value the work you do. They’ll form the solid foundation for a sustainable business that stands out in the long run! Q6. And lastly, how can people find out more about you? The main place people can find me is online. If you search Ashley Webb Handyman on Google you’ll find my business page, and you’ll be able to read some of the reviews left by my happy clients. You can also find out more at my website www.ashthehandyman.co.uk  which has a portfolio of some of my work and more contact information. You can also find me on Facebook, just search Ashley Webb Handyman Services, I regularly post my day-to-day and some behind-the-scenes to my page that lets you take a look at some of my current projects. Thinking about starting your own business? Get the support you need with Môn CF! If you're thinking of starting your own business, or already have a business, Môn CF's Business Support team is here to help! Able to provide support in all aspects of business, from funding to policy writing, through to a full recruitment service, our team is here for you. Interested in learning more? Get in touch with our Business Support team today!

6 Feb 2024

How did we get here? 20 years of Môn CF!
From humble beginnings as a community group to becoming a major provider of employment services across Anglesey, a lot has changed at Môn CF over the years. 2023 is a major anniversary year for us. 20 years ago, our now CEO, Rita Lyon, and a group of individuals from Holyhead came together with the mission to empower the community and bring people out of poverty. Spanning various projects, a few different names, changing addresses, and the hard work of a lot of good people have all helped build Môn CF into an organisation that provides essential services to the people of Anglesey. One thing that has never changed is our mission to create opportunities and stronger communities for the people of Anglesey! Employment support, small business support, vocational training, and community projects are now at the heart of everything the organisation does. In this post, we’ll look back at the history of Môn CF, at some of the projects we’ve worked on, and at our favourite highlights from our 20-year history. Where it all began - The Communities First Years Back in 2003, The Welsh Government launched a new initiative called Communities First. Communities First set out to improve the quality of life for millions of people across Wales. By lifting people out of poverty, they could work to create better lives for themselves. At the time, the best way out of poverty was to get into work and improve household income. Holyhead became part of Communities First and several wards were set up in the town. Planned to run over a 10-year period, the initiative worked with local communities to deliver increased sums of public investment. Doing so would help improve the prospects for people living in deprived regions. The project assigned dedicated coordinators who would oversee all activity in each ward. There was a total of seven wards created across Anglesey. A first for its kind, Communities First flipped the traditional model on its head and took a grassroots, bottom-up approach to community cohesion. The innovative approach meant the decisions could be made at a local level. Influenced by the people who would feel their effects the most. Community feedback was used to plan projects and initiatives that would begin to make positive change. The feedback highlighted a critical need for services that helped individuals overcome the barriers keeping them from entering the world of work. Things like childcare and having the right vocational training. The team set out to remove these barriers as best they could. A transitionary period - Becoming Plas Cybi In 2005, the Welsh Government made some changes to the Communities First wards. Two wards covering Holyhead were merged into a single area and became known as Plas Cybi. The new group would oversee all Communities First activities across a shared area of Holyhead. Plas Cybi, now in a stronger position was able to continue the work of the two former wards. It took time for the new group to earn the trust it needed in the community, but it soon did, and things began to move forward again. The merger meant the organisation had a base in the town centre and would have access to the Millbank Community centre. Despite the changes to the organisation, the priorities and goals remained the same. To work on initiatives that brought people out of poverty. To remove the barriers that were keeping them there, and to create brighter futures. Childcare was still a major barrier for many and through some effective programmes, Plas Cybi was able to help. Very quickly, the team noticed another barrier affecting the people they worked with. While it was easy to show people they’d be better off in work, many didn’t have the skills needed to get the jobs that were available. There was still an outstanding need for effective training resources that could help create a skilled workforce. The team set its sights on creating vocational training programmes, and courses in various subjects soon became available. Major Initiatives - KIDZINK, Holyhead Empty Shops, and the TOM's Projects that help people overcome their barriers have always been at the forefront of Môn CF’s activities. One of those projects was KIDZINK. KIDZINK is a major project that stands out in Môn CF’s history, and one that was hugely successful. Childcare was a recurring barrier on the island. It is still a barrier today and has a significant impact on people’s ability to get back into work. There was a need for a new initiative that could help remove the childcare barrier and help individuals do more for themselves. KIDSINK provided affordable, good-quality childcare. It launched to let members of the community return to work or enter training. It quickly grew and, in time, became a place where people could train for a career in childcare. The project won an award for ‘Best Social Enterprise’ in the Morgan Foundation Awards in 2009. Another great project from the early days was TOM’s , or Tripping Out Minni’s. The programme helped children between the ages of 7 and 11 learn how they could become active members in the community. Encouraging them into volunteering and helping them gain valuable skills. The TOM’s would do good turn schemes, and for every good turn they did, they got a point. These points would convert into pounds which would go towards trips and activities they wanted to do. Things like camping or going to Alton Towers. One of the activities they wanted to do was learn how to cook, and they did so, over the course of six weeks on an intensive course run during the evenings at the high school. The course ended with the Tom's cooking a three-course meal for 100 people! It was fantastic watching the growth of the kids. When they came in, they could hardly peel a potato, and by the end, they were preparing three-course meals. They made some delightful caramelised onion tarts, and mini puddings that were all plated up in a row and would not have looked out of place on Master Chef! One project, which still benefits the community is the Holyhead Empty Shops Initiative . 10 years ago, Môn CF embarked on an initiative to regenerate the high street of Holyhead. If you’re from Holyhead, you’ll remember what things were like at the time. It was a tale of shuttered shops and to-let signs. Things didn’t look great. Major retailers had long left the town centre, moving to the new out-of-town retail park. It was clear something had to be done to combat the decline in the town centre. To bring prosperity back to the area, more opportunities need to be created. The community needs places where local people can create their own enterprises. We collaborated with the landlords and the agents of the empty shops, to reduce rents and put properties within reach for local business owners. The initiative was also able to buy some derelict premises. Refurbishment works went ahead to make them suitable for modern business use. The buildings are still in use today, some by the same businesses that first went into them 10 years ago. We recently spoke to Nashka Ealand , who runs a barber shop in one of the buildings on London Road. Restoring older buildings and making them fit for modern businesses is an initiative that Môn CF continues to do to this day. Local businesses still benefit from the project, and there are more projects on the horizon that will create even more opportunities. Alun Roberts still heads our property projects today! Môn CF today - a picture of the current organisation The Communities First initiative was a huge part of what we did in the early years. Today Môn CF has become a go-to organisation for employment support, business support, and vocational training on Anglesey. Communities First ended in 2017. This meant Môn CF needed to adapt and change if it wanted to continue providing services to the community. Môn CF would refocus, and chose to specialise in effective Employment Support, the organisation was reshaped into one that could help change people’s lives for the better. Going from strength to strength over the years, we now employ over 40 staff of our own and offer more services to our community than ever before. Môn CF has helped thousands of people across Anglesey and North Wales find sustainable, long-term employment. In 2022 we helped over 500 people find new jobs, changing their lives for the better, and improving their economic outlook. We’ve proven we can be agile and rapidly respond to employment emergencies when they arise. Supporting people facing redundancies, and those affected by the closure of major employers on the island. When 2-Sisters announced the closure of their facility in Llangefni, Môn CF set-up a team to support the affected workers. By April 2023, less than a month after the site’s official closure, we’d had helped over 50 former staff secure new employment. Our employment mentors continue to support the former 2-sisters staff, and help in every way they can. Môn CF is also helping to create enterprise on Anglesey. Those who want to have more ownership of their futures can come to us for Business Support. We provide advice and guidance to help people start their own businesses, and when it’s available, help access funding that can help them achieve their goals. What's next for Môn CF - New initiatives and beyond! The new projects happening at Môn CF are now bigger than ever. New initiatives from the UK Government will see some major projects occurring across Anglesey. Môn CF is through to the second round of a new initiative that will allow us to continue delivering Employment Support & Business Support across Anglesey. The outcome will be announced in the coming weeks and will be shared with the community. Môn CF was also part of the group that secured ‘Levelling Up’ funding for Holyhead. Working with local groups and the County Council, an investment was secured for Holyhead. This is one of our biggest projects to date! We’ve secured £4.9 million for the Holyhead Vacant Property Project. The project will see two major buildings in the Holyhead town centre undergo renovations to transform them into new business premises and a community hub. Two smaller buildings will also be renovated and turned into shops suitable for local business owners. The work will help local businesses employ more local people and make the town centre a place people want to visit. For example, the HSBC building will become home to three businesses, and help create up to 30 new jobs! The people working these jobs and running these businesses will be completely independent of Môn CF. Our role is to help facilitate their success! The project will complete by March 2025. We’ll be holding public events so the community can see the plans and meet the team working on them. You can learn more about the Vacant Property Project in our blog post announcing the project . A team effort - more than just Môn CF! None of the success enjoyed by Môn CF would be possible without the hard work of everyone who’s been involved with the organisation over its 20-year history. The Welsh Government and the Anglesey County Council have backed us all the way, believing in what we do, and without them, we wouldn’t be here today. The support from the community has been overwhelmingly positive and has helped Môn CF be there for the people of Anglesey. Lastly, we would like to extend a thank you to absolutely everyone who’s worked with, supported, challenged, partnered, and engaged with Môn CF over the years. Without the valuable input and contributions of every individual, the organisation would not still be here after 20 years. Here’s to another 20 years of supporting the people of Anglesey! Want to get involved with Môn CF? Are you interested in getting involved with Môn CF? If you're looking for employment support, need help setting-up a small business, or want to earn new qualifications - our teams are here to help you! Sign up with us today and let's start making a difference together!

7 Aug 2023

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