Welsh government announces more financial support

The Welsh government has announced an additional £30m for hospitality businesses affected by ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

A further £150m in grants is expected to be made available to firms (including micro businesses) through the Welsh government’s Non Domestic Rates scheme, pending the outcome of the next review on 12 March that could see Covid-19 restrictions extended.

The latest round of funding is targeted at businesses employing 10 or more staff; however should restrictions be extended at the 12 March review, the £150m that will be made available would see hospitality businesses that pay non-domestic rates receiving an additional payment of up to £5,000 regardless of the number of employees they have.

"This last year has been incredibly difficult for everyone and we are aware of the significant challenges facing our fantastic hospitality, tourism and leisure sector," comments Minister for the Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates.

"The focus of this latest £30m round of funding is to target further support at the small, medium and large businesses in these sectors with the specific aim of protecting as many jobs as possible.

"The Welsh government’s support to businesses throughout the pandemic has been the most generous anywhere in the UK and I am pleased that we have been able to get over £1.9bn directly into the bank accounts of our businesses."

"The pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors and the people it employs," adds Minister for Finance, Rebecca Evans.

"This new fund, and our provision of additional funding should restrictions be extended, responds to the latest phase of the pandemic and signifies our continued commitment to the sector, helping them to survive the toughest of times until they are in a position to safely reopen their doors again."

Trade body UKHospitality has welcomed the latest grants package for Welsh businesses, with its chief executive Kate Nicholls noting the government listened 'directly to its constructive proposals for more vital support'.

"The new money will play a leading part in continuing to save local jobs and local businesses until March 31 in communities right across Wales while lockdown persists," she adds.

From today, operators can access the eligibility checker and calculator on the Business Wales website to help them work out what support they can expect to qualify for in this latest round and to understand the detail they will need to make an application.