How Swansea Has Been Affected by the Credit Crunch

How Swansea Has Been Affected by the Credit Crunch


Councillor Rob Speht, who is a member of the regeneration and planning committees in Swansea, indicates that the local economy is stable despite concerns about an ongoing worldwide recession and the “credit crunch” that seems to have resulted from it. He points out that the number of planning applications has increased (even minor applications held steady overall), unemployment figures are lower than they were just a year ago, and few signs of any type of economic decline are evident there.

Cautious optimism seems to be the key

Some Swansea traders feel that difficult economic days lie ahead before things become noticeably better, but the Councillor takes the opposite view because of the perceived net growth that has been realised over the past twelve months. He is encouraged by the fact that the Council continues to approve large-scale applications, including a student village development. At the same time, he also concedes that the effects of the economy vary, indicating that while some companies and retailers are suffering from the current recession, renewable energy businesses are doing very well right now.

The Director of the Swansea Business Improvement District (BID), Peter Birch, commented that trade in the City had been somewhat adversely affected by the credit crunch. He also added that the things have now begun to improve because of BID’s ongoing attempts to rejuvenate the city’s Centre.

Financial help is available for Swansea’s entrepreneurs

Between April 2008 and April 2009, Business Centre Swansea assisted more than 80 new business start-ups, bucking the current economic trend. Today, 77% of those companies are holding their own, despite the ongoing credit crunch. The Centre is a free service that offers budding entrepreneurs tips on creating a new business and provides much-needed support for established businesses as well to help them stay afloat.

Their services include mentoring, analyzing a company’s strengths and weaknesses, linkage to funding sources, business planning, marketing strategy, training, and information technology advice. By contacting the Centre, people can also see their business dreams become reality through the awareness sessions they provide, guidance in compiling a business plan, and up-to-date book-keeping techniques.

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