THE Welsh Government’s bespoke Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) is providing crucial support to protect jobs at an important employer in Wrexham, Economy and North Wales Minister Ken Skates has announced.

Gresford-based F Bender Limited has received £149,000 from the fund to help it safeguard its 150-strong workforce from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ERF, which is part of the Welsh Government’s £1.7bn support package for businesses, is providing thousands of companies across Wales with significant financial support and complements the help provided by the UK Government. To date, more than 12,500 businesses have received financial support worth more than £280m.

Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, said: “We have worked hard in Wales to repurpose funding wherever possible since the coronavirus pandemic hit, so financial support is available quickly to firms who need it most.

“Our package of support goes above and beyond what is available elsewhere in the UK, and I am proud the Economic Resilience Fund is helping thousands of businesses deal with immediate issues critical to their survival and to protect jobs.”

F Bender Limited, which manufactures paper cups for the hospitality industry and other items, has used the funding to provide a vital cash-flow injection.

The business, which works with well-known high street and coffee brands, estimates it invests around £3m each year in the local supply chain.

The company is involved in a number of initiatives to improve the environmental impact of products, including the commercial development of compostable and recyclable paper cups. It is also working with and supporting Keep Wales Tidy.

Ken Skates added, “F Bender Limited in Wrexham is proof of our efforts to help support a wide range of businesses is working, and I am delighted we were able to provide the company with this crucial funding.

“It is an important employer in the area and our support will be crucial in ensuring it continues to be exactly that post-pandemic.”

F Bender Limited managing director Andy Cunliffe said: “The support from the Welsh Government and the Economic Resilience Fund has been crucial to our efforts to survive the impact of Covid-19.

“With much of our business on the high street, our sales collapsed in the early months of the pandemic. The grant aid provided much-needed cash which has been used to support supplier payments and wages.

“With our markets returning we firmly believe the Welsh Government funding has played a significant role in protecting our Wrexham workforce.”

 

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