Wales is to enter a “circuit breaker” lockdown for two weeks on Friday, October 23.
The “short and sharp” restrictions are designed to slow the spread of coronavirus and will replace local restrictions.
Businesses such as pubs, restaurants, hotels, indoor gyms and non-essential shops will shut.
The Welsh Government has announced a £300m support package for businesses affected by the new lockdown. Applications are due to open next week.
- Every business covered by the small business rates relief will receive a £1,000 payment.
- Small and medium-sized retail, leisure and hospitality businesses, which have to close will receive a one-off payment of up to £5,000.
- There will also be additional discretionary grants and support for smaller businesses, which are struggling.
- The £80m fund announced last week to help businesses develop in the longer term, will be increased to £100m, which includes £20m ring-fenced for tourism and hospitality.
Businesses will also be able to access the support available through the existing Job Retention Scheme or the new expanded Job Support Scheme.
The First Minister has written to the Chancellor to ask him to give Welsh businesses early access to the new expanded Job Support Scheme from Friday. The Welsh Government has offered to pay the extra costs to the UK Government scheme to ensure businesses can retain staff.
Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair, welcomed the business support and urged the UK Government to respond to Welsh Government’s proposal for Welsh businesses to take early advantage of the Job Support Scheme.
He said: “It is important that self-employed and sole traders are able to access support over this period. Many, such as those within the trades professions or driving instructors for instance, will be heavily impact by the shutdown restrictions and so appropriate support needs to be available.
“Detailed guidance will need to be made available as a priority to allow businesses to plan. Businesses need to know exactly who must close, and what restrictions might be imposed upon those that are able to remain open. We will be engaging with Welsh Government in the coming hours and days to ensure that businesses have all of the information that they need.”
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