Businesses in Newport are being urged to sign up to attend Restart Newport, a virtual seminar being hosted by The South Wales Argus - which will also see £10,000 worth of print advertising being given away free to the first 20 businesses to sign up to the event.

The event, which is being held on July 9 at 10am, is being backed by the University of South Wales and NatWest.

It will be hosted by the new editor of the South Wales Argus Gavin Thompson, and the panel will include Heather Myers, chief executive of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce, Louise Bright, of the University of South Wales and Swian Rees, of NatWest.

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Gavin Thompson, editor, South Wales Argus

To help boost business in the area, the first 20 businesses to book their free tickets for the Restart Newport seminar will receive an advertising print campaign worth up to £500 in the South Wales Argus

The advertising will run subject to availability and will appear in either the Monday, Wednesday or Saturday editions and all print campaigns will run between July and September 2020. Artwork can be supplied complete or created by LOCALiQ for free.

All customers booking their free tickets for the seminar will receive a free Business Digital Healthcheck delivered by a LOCALiQ digital marketing consultant.

Businesses which sign up will also get the chance to be part of the Argus' Open for Business coverage.

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South Wales Argus editor Gavin Thompson said: “It is part of our role as the local newspaper to support our local businesses. Running a smaller business can be lonely and business owners are under a lot of pressure with people’s livelihoods depending on them. This event is a place for them to ask questions and get advice from our expert panel.

“For me personally, it’s also my first chance to get to know the businesses in and around Newport since joining the Argus as editor very recently, so I’m very much looking forward to it."

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Dr Louise Bright, University of South Wales

Dr Louise Bright said: “The University of South Wales is proud to be partnering with the South Wales Argus on this event. We are serious about bridging the gap between academia and the outside world and in particular we aim to open our doors to regional businesses so that they can access our talented staff and students and our specialist facilities and resources. Our Exchange acts as a front door to business and through events like this we can listen to the needs of our SME community and respond with timely support and advice, providing external organisations with access to our research and innovation expertise.”

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Heather Myers, CEO of South and Mid Wales Chambers of Commerce

Heather Myers, CEO of South and Mid Wales Chambers of Commerce, said: “I am delighted to join South Wales Argus’ virtual panel discussion. Since the announcement that non-essential businesses can re-open, we have seen a positive shift in attitudes across not only businesses in Wales, but the public.

“While this is great news for business and industry, including tourism and hairdressing, we still have a lot to prepare. From the conversations we have had, Covid-19 has brought into focus the health and safety of staff and customers as the key priority for Welsh business and industry.

“This panel discussion will be a welcome discussion for the many businesses in and around the Newport and Gwent area, and even further afield, who seek key advice on what best practices they can do when re-opening, how to reduce risks, restart and recover. The chamber’s sole focus is B2B, by helping businesses though providing up to date, accurate and practical advice, all of which can be found on the chamber’s Coronavirus Hub and events pages.

"Through this crisis we have also been very vocal in conversations with politicians, policy makers and banks to ensure the right support was put in place, at the right times, which would make the most difference. Our insights and efforts have been recognised recently by many, from Her Majesty, The Queen to the Governor of the Bank of England.”

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Siwan Rees, NatWest Entrepreneurship Development Manager

Siwan Rees, NatWest Entrepreneurship Development Manager, said: “As we come out of lockdown it is going to be a really important time for businesses across Gwent – both in how they re-engage their customers and how they support their staff.

"It will still be challenging, but we will have turned a corner and can all start looking to the future again and the opportunities that will be there. Our purpose as a bank is to champion potential, helping people, families and businesses to thrive. This is why supporting business across Gwent right now is so important to us and why we are delighted to be part of this event by the South Wales Argus.”

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Hussain Bayoomi, managing director of the South Wales Argus

Hussain Bayoomi, managing director of the South Wales Argus, said: "We’re going virtual with our Restart Newport campaign.

"Now more than ever we need to come together as a community, collaborating and supporting each other as we come out of lockdown and back to what will be our new normal.

"With so much information available we are partnering with the University of South Wales along with NatWest Business Banking to hold a live discussion which will have a panel of experts who will talk about how we restart Newport.

"The Argus will be helping to support local businesses as they reopen and are offering the first 20 businesses to register a £500 advertising campaign so that they can tell businesses that they are open for business. I hope that you can join us on Thursday, July 9, 10am."

To be part of the virtual event sign here up for your free ticket .