BUSINESSMEN and women are calling on the council to help them find new offices after the massive Chester Enterprise Centre Fire on Thursday (December 2).
Around 50 businesses lost their offices and equipment in the blaze which ripped through the building destroying everything in its path.
After discovering all their hard work has literally gone up in smoke the business owners are now frantically trying to find alternative premises. They are calling on Cheshire West and Chester Council to give them the help they need.
Gaynor Davies who runs Chester Travel Connection along with Karen Cioma-Park is currently operating her business out of her spare bedroom.
She said: “I first had a phone call at around 7am. I wasn’t sure whether it was my business. I just live down the road so I threw on some come clothes and shuffled down there.
“Initially the police told me it was the builders merchants, but when I caught a glimpse of where it was I realised it was our building. I was gobsmacked.”
That is when Gaynor realised she would have to come up with somewhere alternative to work from.
“I have set up an office in my spare bedroom. I have clients who are abroad or going travelling that rely on us. It is just frantic.”
Gaynor said that what has been difficult is the uncertainty.
“The council have been offering us accommodation but it is really not suitable. So we are struggling.”
Gaynor said one of the big problems is just the lack of stationary and basic office equipment.
She said: “I am operating out of my bedroom on one laptop, I don’t even have a calculator.
“It is the silly but useful things we have lost, so if anyone could donate us pens, notepads and any stationary we would be so grateful, because it has all gone.
“We would also like to remind people that our computers have been destroyed so any email's sent very recently will have gone too. So please email or phone again.”
Gaynor said she is hoping to be allowed back into the building at some point to see if anything can be salvaged.
Nick Thompson who runs Lemondrop Creative which designs leaflets and programmes and was based in the Chester Enterprise Centre said that 16 years of hard work has been destroyed in the blaze.
He said: “We have been in the centre for three years but had 16 years worth of work stored there.
“It is just devastating. We just need to find alternative accommodation quickly.
“The council has offered us temporary accommodation but that is not really good enough. We need somewhere permanent and fast.”
Council spokesman Ian Callister said:“The council will do all they can to help the businesses effected by the fire.”