The latest coronavirus regulations forcing pubs, cafes and restaurants to close “will undoubtedly impact the smallest businesses most”, said the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Wales policy chair, Ben Francis.
Reacting to the announcement, which will also see the sale of alcohol in supermarkets and off-licences banned after 10pm, Mr Francis said: “We recognise that these measures have been brought in to try to mitigate that re-emergence of the virus.
“Undoubtedly, these measures will have an economic impact which could suggest that for many businesses, which were just starting to get back on their feet, recovery may yet be some way off.
“We recognise however, that both the UK and Welsh Governments have sought a balance between measures to control the virus and protecting the economy.
“The sector most obviously hit by these measures are pubs and hospitality businesses.
“Curtailed trading hours will undoubtedly impact the smallest businesses most – businesses which have done their very best to navigate through and implement the safety measures we’ve asked them to put in place.
“These are businesses already working to very tight margins and many will be concerned about their onward viability.”
Mr Francis also said that businesses will need “new and significant support” from both Welsh and UK governments.
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He cited the end of furlough and called for “continued support”.
Mr Francis continued: “These are challenging times and all our political leaders are faced with unenviable decisions.
“However, the strength of our SME [small to medium enterprise] community will be one of the most significant available assets to help build economic recovery and we can’t lose sight of the need to support our smaller businesses to provide jobs, wealth and contribute so much to our communities.”
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