Thursday, 2 July 2009

Starting a Business in Newport ? White Men Need Not Apply

by johnofgwent

There's something I thought I'd like to share with you this morning.

If you were to spend any amount of time stuck as I do in the traffic chaos caused by the barking mad labour council that used to run Newport you'd have noticed the advertising poster on the buses put there by "Newport Unlimited". Under a strapline "Starting A Business In Newport ?" it pretends all manner of support might be available.

Unless you're a white man. The picture accompanying the paoster shows what appear to me to be a negroid man in his late forties to early fifties, a white woman in her early twenties, a chinese man in his thirties, and a white woman in her late fifties. No place in Newport's advertising for the overwhelming majority of people thrown out onto the street.

And I wouldn't be too quick to bother if you are a white woman either.

A couple of years ago a friend of mine was looking for somewhere to open a shop.

She found an ideal property, in a thriving street in one of the older areas outside the city centre. A shop with a flat above, the mainstay of our "nation of shopkeepers", that Napoleon mocked at his peril, going for a song on account of the condition it's owner had let it get into following a death in the family.

Friends rallied round and we soon had the place knocked into shape. But it's just as well we did. Would you like to know how much money was available to a white woman in her thirties seeking to set up a shop in what was very much a brownfield site ? None. Diddley-Squat.

Why was that ?

Well I don't know exactly. All the man in Newport Council would tell me was that they only provided grants to people wishing to renovate ethnic food shops in the Pill area. No other applications would be considered.