Latest Welsh Government SME Funding Package for Recovery Welcome but Future Support Will Be Needed Says FSB

Press Releases 23 Nov 2021

FSB welcomes the announcement of a funding package announced by the Welsh Government.

FSB Wales has today welcomed the announcement by Welsh Government of a new package of support for smaller businesses in Wales.

The support, part of which is targeted at addressing some of the pressing skills shortages currently challenging sectors such as logistics and hospitality as well as supporting businesses in the move to decarbonise, comes at a critical juncture as Welsh businesses begin efforts to re-build and grow following the challenges of the Covid pandemic.

Speaking about the announcement, Ben Francis, Policy Chair at FSB Wales stated:

‘While the Coronavirus Pandemic is far from over, as businesses continue to recover from the pressures of the last 19 months, it is welcome that Welsh Government is to deliver support which will help those businesses turn a page and move to the next chapter. We’re pleased to see that Welsh Government have listened to our concerns about skills pressures in key sectors of our economy and that part of this money will be targeted at addressing some of those challenges.

This money will also help ‘de-risk’ some of the financial pressure of investment and innovation and help businesses look to new processes and opportunities. However, with the Christmas period almost upon us, we now need to move fast to ensure that business owners are aware of this opportunity to encourage them to bring forward proposals to be funded. We look forward to hearing further details on the conditions and funding criteria very soon.

Local Government in Wales played a crucial role in getting support to businesses during the worst of the Pandemic and particularly during the lockdowns and so we’re pleased that expertise and network will again be used to ensure that this money gets onto the ground and is locally-responsive as quickly as possible.

However, we know that the cost pressures on smaller businesses have increased substantially in recent months and a hike in the cost of employment looming next April in the shape of increased National Insurance contributions and with more likely rises in energy costs, further support will be needed to ensure that regrowth and recovery is put on a more permanent footing. Welsh Government has an opportunity to offset those cost pressures further in the forthcoming Budget process by ensuring the continuation of the Business Rates holiday which is due to expire at the end of this financial year. We would urge Government to move soon to confirm further Business Rates support alongside this latest package of funding’

Media contact

Ben Cottam

Ben Cottam

Head of Wales

About FSB

As experts in business, FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in Government. Its aim is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions.