Commenting on this news, Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair, said:
“Before Christmas, the First Minister said that in the event that UK Government were to announce more funding for business support in Tier 4 in England, this would be passed on in full to businesses in Wales that were subject to Alert Level 4 restrictions and closures. Businesses will have been waiting some time for some funding to come through and will be looking to Welsh Government for a demonstration of how this funding will help them to survive.
“Moving to Alert Level 4 a week before Christmas was nothing short of devastating for thousands of businesses in Wales, particularly hospitality firms. Businesses across the country have been battling through an incredibly difficult winter and Christmas period and are fighting tooth and nail to protect staff and customers, sustain jobs and keep their business afloat. Welsh Government must take immediate action in order to reassure Wales’ business community that this funding will be passed onto firms in full. Furthermore, business owners should be given confidence that payments will be made swiftly, and access to funding will be straight forward.
“However, it’s clear that this money alone will not go far enough for many business owners. There remain too many groups who need more support to weather this storm such as the newly self-employed, those in supply chains and company directors. We continue to call on the UK Government to create a Directors Income Support Scheme, mirroring the Self Employed Support Scheme, in the form of a taxable grant for directors of limited companies calculated at 80% of three months average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500.
“There has rarely been a more precarious time to run a business, and Wales’ is incredibly reliant on our small business communities across the country. It is critical that all possible action is taken to help safeguard these businesses so that we can rebuild our economy in the months to come.”