Businesses in Wales still affected by coronavirus restrictions will be able to claim up to a further £25,000 in support to help meet ongoing costs – but business leaders have warned more is needed.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Welsh Government has provided more than £2bn to tens of thousands of businesses across Wales to help them through the pandemic.
The latest support package will help those businesses, which remain affected by restrictions, to meet ongoing costs through to the end of June as they prepare for reopening and more normal trading conditions.
Businesses that stand to benefit include:
- Nightclubs and late entertainment venues
- Events and conference venues not covered by the Welsh Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund (CRF)
- Hospitality and leisure businesses, including restaurants, pubs and cafes.
- Supply chain business, which have been materially impacted by restrictions.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The public health situation continues to improve in Wales – we have the lowest coronavirus rates and the best vaccination rates in the UK.
“We know the restrictions have helped to keep us all safe but they have had a big impact on Welsh businesses, which is why we are making more funding available to support firms and safeguard jobs.
“Eligible businesses will receive support of up to £25,000 as they prepare to reopen and move towards more normal trading conditions.
“My new government will provide more detail about the extra financial support we will be providing to businesses to help them develop and grow as Wales recovers from the impact of the pandemic.”
Commenting on the business support funding announcement from Welsh Government, Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair, said: “Despite the disappointment at the gap in business support over the Senedd election period, many businesses will nevertheless breathe a sigh of relief at this new support from Welsh Government.
“We hope that this will help stabilise those firms that are still dealing with the most serious economic consequences of coronavirus.
“We are pleased to see that guidance has been published following calls from FSB; this should help businesses adapt to the latest change in restrictions and ensure that they can trade safely and securely.”
He added: “Whilst funding is welcome for those who face an immediate need, we know that going forwards businesses will continue to be restricted and face many challenges on the road to recovery and trading sustainably once again.
“There remains much concern within the sector about what the coming weeks will hold and Welsh Government needs to work with FSB Wales to support businesses to move to a place of profitability and sustainability.
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“As businesses can reopen more substantially, we’d continue to urge everyone to consider how they can support local, independent firms who desperately need the support of the communities that they are such an integral part of.”
An eligibility checker is on the Business Wales website so businesses can find out how much support they are likely to be entitled to and how to apply. Businesses will be able submit applications by the end of the month and they will receive between £2,500 and £25,000 depending on their circumstances. Funding will be calculated based on the size of the business and the type of restrictions they are under.
This support is in addition to the Welsh Government’s £610m non-domestic rates relief which will mean more than 70,000 retail, leisure and hospitality businesses pay no rates in 2021/22.
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